Tell us something we don’t know.
Courtesy of WaPo:
The leaders of the two largest teachers unions in the country are coming out swinging after a Supreme Court ruling that dealt a blow to labor organizations’ ability to collect fees.
Even as conservative groups are waging a social media campaign to persuade teachers to drop out of their unions, the presidents of the National Education Association, the largest public union in the country, and the American Federation of Teachers delivered tough speeches this month at their annual conventions.
NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said July 2 that the United States is living in “dangerous” times when “billionaires believe that they are our rulers.” AFT President Randi Weingarten on Friday called Betsy DeVos “the worst” education secretary in history.
The unions are reeling from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, in which the court’s conservative majority struck down laws that allowed public-sector unions to collect “agency” fees from nonunion members to help cover the cost of collective bargaining and job protections. The labor organizations are preparing to take in less money; the NEA, for example, is cutting $28 million from its budget and expecting a decline in membership of nearly 15 percent.
In their speeches, both union leaders attacked the Trump administration and DeVos, who has made clear that her priority as education secretary is to expand alternatives to traditional public schools, which educate the vast majority of America’s schoolchildren. They said that right-wing forces are pushing an anti-labor agenda, and Weingarten spoke about the importance of the 2018 midterm elections:
“It’s not simply a fight for fairness or for the policies we champion for working folks and their families. These elections won’t just determine whether Republicans or Democrats prevail, but whether cruelty or decency prevails. We must be a check and balance for our democracy and for a society that is safe, welcoming and sane.”
The two leaders cited recent teacher strikes as the signal for a new “era of activism” and suggest that they are only the beginning as teachers fight for their profession, the children, and the future of education in this country.
Make no mistake Donald Trump appointed DeVos to help dismantle the Department of Education, and she has been working to do exactly that.
I would suggest that everybody who has a child in the public school system or was once a student themselves, turn out to support the efforts of these selfless civil servants.
We always hear how brave firefighters and police officers are as first responders, and indeed they are, but teachers are the first responders for identifying learning disabilities with their students, abuse at home, abject poverty in their communities, and gang activity that may be encroaching on their schools.
Every single day teachers across the country get cussed at, threatened, physically assaulted, and vilified for simply doing their jobs.
Without teachers, this country would be lost, and it is high time they got the support that they deserve.