This perspective was written by Steve Calabro, a cyber charter school educator in Pennsylvania.
This latest political email alert from the Pennsylvania State Education Association—using union dues, I might add—is absurdity at its finest.
So this means if I don’t contribute to the union’s political action committee (PACE), I’m automatically in the Tom Corbett Fan Club? It doesn’t work that way. Nothing works that way—except union membership in Pennsylvania.
Consider the PSEA members who are struggling to make ends meet. The ones who may not like Gov. Corbett but can’t afford to give to PACE. Because of their financial situation, they have been branded Corbett sympathizers. Another way in which PSEA’s political agenda has blinded them into complete disregard for their own membership.
Here is an organization which is ‘involved’ in education but has decided to use teachers’ dues money to declare open war on the person who makes the final decisions in education for the state rather than make any attempt to work with him. Then they use taxpayer money to collect teachers’ union dues from public schools’ payroll systems. If the average teacher was given the choice between an honest conversation with Gov. Corbett about issues or paying an artist to make fun of him, which do you think they’d choose?
If a teacher found a mean-spirited caricature of a public official drawn by a student, would they a.) applaud and help the student put the official down, b.) force the rest of the class to pay money to help make more offensive drawings, or c.) try to educate the student as to why being disrespectful is not the best course of action in life? One of these sounds like a teacher, the other two are the PSEA. They don’t represent our values, just their agenda.
For years I taught in a traditional school district. When I realized what my forced contributions were spent on, I dropped my union membership and became a fee payer. This kind of ad is one example of the types of activities that made me disillusioned with the PSEA. Regardless of my feelings toward our Governor, is this the kind of activity I want my union dues to fund?