Commentary: States Can Make the Difference on an Unjust Teacher Pay Gap

The seemingly-omnipresent call to raise teacher pay is sounding even louder this year, as rising inflation threatens to render moot any raises made in previous years. Yet even before that became apparent, state pay raises for teachers were heading toward a crescendo. There were numerous historic raises in March 2022 alone: Mississippi’s Gov. Tate Reeves signed a pay bump of roughly 10 percent, New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a base salary increase average of 20 percent, and Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $800 million in additional funds to raise teachers’ starting salaries. In April 2022, Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey approved raises that range from 4 to 21 percent depending on teachers’ experience levels.

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Surge in Homeschooling Families Continues after Schools Reopen

The number of families homeschooling in the United States has remained significantly above pre-pandemic levels even though government schools have reopened.

The number of homeschooling students increased by 63% during the 2020-2021 school year in 18 states that shared data, AP reported. That percentage then dropped by only 17% in the next academic year.

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Commentary: Teachers Unions’ Other Foes Are Liberal Parents

Khulia Pringle would seem an unlikely critic of the local Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. The St. Paul native embarked on a teaching career in the hope of improving a school system that she saw as failing her daughter. By the time she finished her training in 2014, she had grown so disillusioned with the public school system that she took a job with an education reform group, helping to recruit and place hundreds of tutors in schools across the state.

While she shares the union’s emphasis on pushing for higher pay and smaller classrooms, the self-described liberal education activist says the federation’s three-week strike last month provided final confirmation of her worst fear: The union and public education system place a higher priority on serving their own needs than they do on serving students and parents, 60% of whom are minorities.

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Republican Report: CDC Official Confirms Teachers’ Unions Given ‘Unprecedented’ Status on Whether to Reopen Schools While Parents Not Consulted

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used “political science” and not “medical science” to collaborate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to create guidance on the issue of reopening the nation’s government schools.

Appearing as a guest on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, Scalise referred to a report released by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that revealed a CDC official’s testimony confirming the nation’s top health agency coordinated with teachers’ unions at an “unprecedented” level to craft school reopening guidance, despite the CDC’s earlier claims that their coordination with the unions was routine.

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GOP Report: Teachers Unions Got ‘Unprecedented Access’ After Donating Tens of Millions to Democrats

A newly released report from Republican lawmakers on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis alleges that teachers unions had “unprecedented access” in determining school COVID-19 guidelines after giving millions of dollars to Democratic candidates in 2020.

The report confirmed what The Center Square reported last year, including that teachers unions such as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) gave tens of millions of dollars to Democrats before heavily influencing school re-opening guidance.

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Biden Education Department ‘Declares War’ on Charter Schools as School Choice Becomes Overwhelmingly Popular in America

As more families and teachers flee government schools, the Biden administration – bound to the teachers unions – has now “declared war” on charter schools, as Robert Maranto, editor of the Journal of School Choice, wrote at National Review Monday.

The Biden education department is now on a path to sabotage the federal grant program that funds charter schools, public schools that are privately managed, with its proposal of new rules that appear to actually deter applicants from seeking grants.

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Corey DeAngelis: More School Choice Creates Greater Incentive for Teachers’ Unions to Push Student-Focused Policies

Corey DeAngelis of the American Federation for Children

In an interview with The Star News Network, nationally known school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis said teachers’ unions would be incentivized to push for more student-focused policies in public schools if school funding followed the child and more states adopted school choice programs.

DeAngelis, the national director of research at the American Federation for Children, is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and a senior fellow at the Reason Foundation.

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Documentary Exposes Critical Race Theory and ‘Corrupting Influence of Teachers’ Unions’ on Education of American Children

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

A new documentary exposes Critical Race Theory (CRT) as the “hidden agenda in America’s schools,” as it also emphasizes the “corrupting influence of teachers’ unions” and urges a return to the true education of American children.

Fathom Events, the film’s distributor, notes on its website Whose Children Are They? seeks to “pull back the curtain about what is truly happening in our public schools today.”

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Teachers Unions ‘Hold the Education of Kids Hostage,’ Worker Rights Group Says

A worker rights group is calling out two powerful teachers unions, claiming that they “hold the education of kids hostage” in a press release.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF), told the Daily Caller News Foundation that teachers unions like the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are taking advantage of a labor law provision passed in the 1930s for the private sector.

“In several states across the country, union officials, specifically teachers’ union officials, have been granted a really unique privilege called exclusive monopoly bargaining,” Mix said, adding that former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed granting such privileges to public-sector unions while in office.

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Commentary: Union-Mandated School Shutdowns Are Having Major Consequences

Recently, a report compiled by Mike Antonucci for the Defense of Freedom Institute confirmed that the teachers unions had a heavy-handed role in the COVID-related shutdowns that consumed much of the country starting in March 2020. And the “never let a good crisis go to waste” unions were in prime form in the process. The California Teachers Association, for example, issued a “bargaining advisory” in May of 2020, in which it states, “When exercising a ‘get for the give’ approach to bargaining concessions, locals should consider strengthening or implementing consultation procedures language in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement).” The union added, “Now is the time to secure (contract) language improvements that we have wanted for some time.”

While the California Teachers Association was busy instructing its local teachers unions how to milk the shutdown, Antonucci notes that it was successful on a statewide basis by “winning a ban on teacher layoffs, a substantial reduction in required instructional minutes, and the elimination of public accountability data collections for 2020, including those for academics, absenteeism, graduation and suspension rates, and college readiness.”

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Democrats Boast That Their Donors’ Most Common Profession Is Teacher

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) tweeted that the most common DNC donor-reported occupation in 2021 is teacher.

The tweet sparked widespread mockery online, with commentators pointing out that teachers’ widespread alignment with Democrats is a root cause of conservatives’ distrust in public education.

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Commentary: I’m Leaving My California Teachers’ Union

I have been a middle school special education teacher for 18 years. Every day I spend in the classroom is a joy – the work is hard, but so rewarding – and with almost two decades of experience, I know how my students learn best.

Imagine my surprise when the California Teachers Association – which spends zero days per year with students – tries to tell teachers how to run their classrooms.

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Report: Teachers Unions Bullied the White House, CDC into Changing School Masking Guidelines

The National Education Association (NEA) teachers union threatened to publicly criticize President Joe Biden’s administration if it did not implement stricter mask guidance, according to internal emails obtained by watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to Fox News.

Following a statement published by the NEA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specified that regardless of vaccination status, masks should be worn by everyone in schools, Fox News reported. The NEA originally sent a drafted statement to White House officials criticizing the CDC’s guidance, but ended up publishing a statement with a milder tone, according to the emails.

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Center for Union Facts Launches Campaign to Call Out Teachers Unions for ‘Anti-Student Agenda’ in New Video, Website

The Center for Union Facts on Tuesday launched a new campaign to question the actions of teachers’ unions, specifically during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization highlights how many of the large teacher unions fought to keep schools closed and remain in an online learning environment, a move that seemingly hurt students’ learning.

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Commentary: Unions Enforce Masks for the Public But Don’t Require Member Vaccinations

Flight attendants’ and teachers’ unions whose members are on the front lines of disputed Covid safety protocols are ardent enforcers of mask mandates for the public but do not require their members to get vaccinated. Such inoculation is widely acknowledged as the most effective step in stopping the spread of the new Delta variant, while masking is viewed as of secondary importance, and many are highly skeptical of its effectiveness and critical of its inconvenience.

As the Association of Flight Attendants continues to urge federal authorities to allow flight attendants to police passengers for masking – a policy that has led to fisticuffs on some flights – the union has struck an agreement with at least one airline, United, to allow unvaccinated members to fly. American Airlines and Southwest Air say they also do not require their flight attendants or other employees to vaccinate. Flight attendants for both airlines are unionized.

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Michigan Reading Scholarship Advocates Lament ‘Anti-Voucher’ Rhetoric Used Against Vetoed Program

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) line-item vetoed a $155 million program for K-5 reading scholarships in the $17 billion school budget she signed earlier this month, teachers’ unions and other school choice opponents likened the scholarships to vouchers. 

Many proponents of the scholarship expenditure are responding that while they would welcome broader choice-oriented education reform, a plain reading of the program does not jibe with unions’ and school administrators stated concerns about impact on public education.

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CDC Sued by Watchdog Group for Withholding Communications Records with Teachers’ Unions

CDC Headquarters

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was sued by a watchdog group after the agency failed to hand over requested documentation of communication between the government agency and the leaders of various teachers’ unions, Fox News reports.

The suit was filed by Americans for Public Trust (APT), a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. The group alleges that the documents they previously requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could prove that there was “undue political influence” expressed over the CDC by teachers’ unions, which ultimately dictated the CDC’s lockdown recommendations.

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Teachers Unions’ Donations to Democrats Increased Amid Pandemic, School Closures

The largest U.S. teachers unions increased contributions to mainly Democratic politicians in 2020 amid a heated national debate over when to reopen schools during the pandemic.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) political action committee (PAC) donated $1.6 million to candidates while the National Education Association’s (NEA) PAC contributed $371,000 to candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Roll Call. The contributions represented a 3,456% increase for the AFT and a 38% increase for the NEA compared to the organizations’ 2019 donations given over the same period.

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Fed Up with COVID: 44 Percent Increase in Michigan Teacher Retirements

Tennessee Star

Michigan has seen a huge spike in teacher retirements during the past year, with many of those teachers citing COVID-19 restrictions as the reason for calling it quits. 

“From August through February, there was a 44 percent increase in midyear retirements compared with the same period in 2019-2020 as 749 teachers left public school classrooms in the middle of the school year, state data show,” Crain’s Business Detroit reported. 

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Commentary: Teachers Unions Continue to Block School Reopenings Across America

As district school closures enter their 11th month, many parents are frustrated and angry. They may see private schools that have been open for in-person learning since the start of the academic year and wonder why their own children are forced to endure remote schooling indefinitely. They may ask why in some parts of the country district schools have been open for in-person learning for months.

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Commentary: Teachers Unions Are More Powerful Than You Realize, But That May Be Changing

Teachers unions throughout the US claim to be looking out for the best interests of teachers and students, but they are deeply political organizations with significant influence over what, how, where, and with whom most children learn.

While the nation’s largest teachers unions have long been deeply connected to the Democratic Party and left-wing ideology, this political affiliation has become increasingly apparent in recent months. From hinging their support for reopening schools on outrageous policy demands to launching court battles, threatening strikes, and openly supporting disturbing actions during recent protests, today’s teachers unions are more powerful and dangerous than many parents may realize.

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Commentary: Thomas Sowell’s New Book Shows Why Charter Schools Focus on Students Rather Than Teachers’ Unions

Thomas Sowell is a truth seeker who grew up in Harlem and is one of the wisest men of our times. In his new book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies — published on June 30, 2020, his 90th birthday — he exposes the hypocrisy of our politicians, teachers’ unions, and public school bureaucrats.

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Teacher Retaliated Against for Criticizing ‘Racial Equity’ Policy Can Seek Punitive Damages from St. Paul Schools

A U.S. magistrate judge has ruled that Aaron Benner, a former St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) teacher, can seek punitive damages against his former employer, which allegedly retaliated against him after he criticized its “racial equity” policy.

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