I’m in Pittsburgh today, but I can hear the shouting in Harrisburg from here: Union bosses are hopping mad at Gov. Tom Corbett for calling them out in his recent speech to school choice advocates in our nation’s capital.
Ignore the spin. Here’s the truth, in three points.
1. Union bosses don’t look out for poor kids—they favor policies that hurt them. As everyone knows, the PSEA is adamantly opposed to Senate Bill 1, which would allow more poor students to get scholarships to escape failing schools. Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee explained pointedly on the Huffington Post that this view (which she formerly held) amounts to “allowing poor children to stay in chronically failing schools.”
2. Union bosses don’t look out for good teachers—they favor policies that hurt them. As my colleague Elizabeth Stelle blogged earlier today, the PSEA just killed a provision that would have allowed public schools to make firing decisions based on performance, not seniority. This means schools that are out of money will have to fire good teachers if bad ones have been around longer.
3. Union bosses don’t look out for taxpayers—they’re soaking us. CF recently exposed the fact that more than $59 million of taxpayer money is being funneled through public school districts directly to unions and other organizations frequently involved in lobbying against the interests of taxpayers and underserved children.
Thank you, Governor, for calling a spade a spade.