The coming teacher-union offensive

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    Jun 26, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    It's stunning to realize how big of a lobby group teachers have become and the funds they command. It's also stunning to look down into the future to see the effect of the deferred compensation in the form of pensions and benefits they were able to negotiate over the years with complicit legislatures. It's a fight that will get nastier - but for the basic reality that there is no more money to spend though they will fight for new taxes to pay for their generous defined pensions and benefits.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/23/the-coming-teacher-union-offensive-819239426/

    Already, national political fundraising ma- chines are beginning to hum and s putter toward early targets in their quest to break another election cycle’s worth of spending records. The nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), was the heaviest contributor to U.S. political campaigns in 2007-08, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Early indications show it is a front-runner to be so again. Along with its state affiliates, the NEA took in $1.5 billion in revenue in 2008-09, the Education Intelligence Agency notes. Nearly all of this revenue came from member dues, and most of the war chest will be spent seeking to increase spending and to block those school reforms deemed most threatening to union clout.

    The stakes are high, even by contemporary standards. The nation’s annual taxpayer investment in kindergarten-through-12th-grade public education runs over half a trillion dollars and accounts for more than 4 percent of gross domestic product. Meanwhile, teachers union members are starting their summer under the dark cloud of a trillion dollars in unfunded educator pension-fund liabilities.

    Having endured a string of high-profile legislative setbacks around the nation, highly politicized teachers union leaders have taken to the airwaves and are prepared to invest heavily in the upcoming election cycle. The teachers unions give mostly to Democrats and in national elections nearly exclusively so. Their legislative agenda for education continues to focus on increasing spending, loosening accountability for results, avoiding the use of test scores in teacher evaluations and thwarting parental choice that could derail the public education monopoly.

    In an effort to fight on their own terms, unions have turned to their lawyers. In courtrooms around the country, union attorneys seem to have adopted the legal strategies of segregationists to fight the expansion of charter schools and school choice. In the period immediately following the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brownv. Board of Education ruling, opponents of desegregation saw promise in pursuing a strategy of forcing desegregation advocates to win one lawsuit at a time. Obstructionists including Georgia’s Attorney General Eugene Cook proclaimed that they could hold up desegregation in the courts for “generations or centuries of litigation.”
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    Jun 26, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    Could you please post something from a credible source? Just once.

    As we discussed in your last teacher bashing thread, the primary cause of pension shortfalls is that governors and legislatures cut taxes, which benefited no one but the wealthy and affluent, instead of paying the state's portion of the benefit. In most circles, this is known as breach of contract and the unions are rightly fighting it.

    You also note, but do not follow the logic, that this is, indeed, deferred compensation; a portion of the teachers compensation that is owed to them under their contract.

    I imagine if someone tried to breach their contract with your company, you would be on the phone to your attorney post-haste.

    I would also say that this is an example of how you do not believe in capitalism or the rule of law. The teachers provided a service under a negotiated contract, using the leverage of their union (as many businesses and professionals use their leverage), and are owed the compensation negotiated, and now your lauding the violation of that contract.

    Your lack of support for this market proves you're not interested in capitalism or economic liberalism,but rather a system of predatory "capitalism" wherein it's wealthy "uber alles."
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    Jun 26, 2011 6:51 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidCould you please post something from a credible source? Just once.

    As we discussed in your last teacher bashing thread, the primary cause of pension shortfalls is that governors and legislatures cut taxes, which benefited no one but the wealthy and affluent, instead of paying the state's portion of the benefit. In most circles, this is known as breach of contract and the unions are rightly fighting it.

    You also note, but do not follow the logic, that this is, indeed, deferred compensation; a portion of the teachers compensation that is owed to them under their contract.

    I imagine if someone tried to breach their contract with your company, you would be on the phone to your attorney post-haste.

    I would also say that this is an example of how you do not believe in capitalism or the rule of law. The teachers provided a service under a negotiated contract, using the leverage of their union (as many businesses and professionals use their leverage), and are owed the compensation negotiated, and now your lauding the violation of that contract.

    Your lack of support for this market proves you're not interested in capitalism or economic liberalism,but rather a system of predatory "capitalism" wherein it's wealthy "uber alles."


    Contracts with governments are ones by fiat - with parties who should recognize they can be given and taken away. I wouldn't have such a dim view of education unions were it not for the fact that the results of education have been that costs have risen dramatically on a per student basis while results have stayed stable if not fallen - meanwhile teachers unions claim that more money is required negotiating with those who they pay substantial lobby dollars to.

    Just because you don't believe it's a credible source - doesn't mean it's not.
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    Jun 26, 2011 6:57 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidCould you please post something from a credible source? Just once.

    As we discussed in your last teacher bashing thread, the primary cause of pension shortfalls is that governors and legislatures cut taxes, which benefited no one but the wealthy and affluent, instead of paying the state's portion of the benefit. In most circles, this is known as breach of contract and the unions are rightly fighting it.

    You also note, but do not follow the logic, that this is, indeed, deferred compensation; a portion of the teachers compensation that is owed to them under their contract.

    I imagine if someone tried to breach their contract with your company, you would be on the phone to your attorney post-haste.

    I would also say that this is an example of how you do not believe in capitalism or the rule of law. The teachers provided a service under a negotiated contract, using the leverage of their union (as many businesses and professionals use their leverage), and are owed the compensation negotiated, and now your lauding the violation of that contract.

    Your lack of support for this market proves you're not interested in capitalism or economic liberalism,but rather a system of predatory "capitalism" wherein it's wealthy "uber alles."


    Contracts with governments are ones by fiat - with parties who should recognize they can be given and taken away. I wouldn't have such a dim view of education unions were it not for the fact that the results of education have been that costs have risen dramatically on a per student basis while results have stayed stable if not fallen - meanwhile teachers unions claim that more money is required negotiating with those who they pay substantial lobby dollars to.

    Just because you don't believe it's a credible source - doesn't mean it's not.


    Wow. What a total and complete cop out. Does that mean Greece can just walk away from it's debt? Or the US government can say "adios" to our debt? You're endorsing lawlessness, which - of course - benefits the powerful.

    I was expecting better than that. But since you quote Washington Times, I probably shouldn't have.
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    Jun 26, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidWow. What a total and complete cop out. Does that mean Greece can just walk away from it's debt? Or the US government can say "adios" to our debt? You're endorsing lawlessness, which - of course - benefits the powerful.

    I was expecting better than that. But since you quote Washington Times, I probably shouldn't have.


    Hardly. Just because you have benefits today, does not mean you will get them in the future. In the same way, even in the worst case scenario I have yet to see an example where they are looking at clawing back what has been negotiated - but rather reducing future benefits. It's not reasonable for teachers unions to negotiate benefits in perpetuity and this is what is changing.

    Bad institutions fail in the private sector when they don't provide the value that's promised. In this case, teachers are not only failing students collectively but they are demanding ever increasing benefits.

    Greece can however walk away from its debt - as can the US - but there are consequences when people don't lend to you in the future and in higher costs.