I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will once it gets to Chicago. For my part, I like the pace and information in “The Cartel,” but you can’t have too many movies about the awful nature of Teachers Unions.
My comment on that post is below.
Daniel Henninger wrote a great piece over at the Wall Street Journal today.
The Liberal Dilemma
The Democratic Party’s capture by public unions and professional politicians is strangling much of liberalism’s agenda.
But this is only a piece of it. The financial meltdown of so many states and cities is forcing American liberalism to come to grips with a tough truth: The demands of public-sector unions and the legal obligations to pay their pensions are collapsing the ability to perform what’s left of the traditional liberal agenda.
Nowhere is this more evident than in California.
On July 8, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an admirer of New Jersey’s blunt new Gov. Chris Christie, held a roundtable in Sacramento on the public pension crisis. Listen to Jeff Adachi, a San Francisco Democrat and the city’s elected Public Defender:
“San Francisco is the most progressive, pro-union, you know, lefty, and I’m probably the poster boy for that in many ways. But the reality is, if we don’t do something, all of the important programs, not only public defense but we’re talking about children’s programs, after-school programs, education, senior programs, everything that we care about as progressives is going to be lost because it’s being sucked up by the cost of pensions.
Repeat after me…
“You can’t fund a child’s education if you are funding a vast education bureaucracy.”
As a matter of policy, the only thing that saves states from union greed is to constitutionally cap spending of every governmental entity. If spending isn’t limited, these greedy public employees will use every economic upturn and every dime of tax dollar to further enrich themselves.
When I talk to regular everyday citizens, they are ready to dump public unionism. When I talk to lobbyists and legislators, they still quiver in their boots or pee their pants.
The unions are neutered. Whole swaths of the working poor despise their greed. Whole swaths of the middle class and upper middle class see them as the parasites they have become. Only lobbyists, politicians, and the very rich still act as if they need to be part of the discussion.
It’s simple. Place the very rich (now more liberal than conservative), the lobbyists (any industry), and the existing political class, one one side of the equation, and every other American on the other.
Make the case to end public unionism, and run on that platform until there are enough to you to ram it down their throats. If this all sounds too confrontational to you, realize these important facts;
This isn’t tiddley winks. Just beat them.
At some point, however, voters turn resentful as they sense that:
– They are underwriting, through their taxes, a level of salary and benefits for government employment that is better than what they and their families have.
– Government services, from schools to the Department of Motor Vehicles, are not good enough – not for the citizen individually nor the public generally – to justify the high and escalating cost.
We are at that point.
In California, government-sector unions, once among the most entrenched and powerful labor groups in the country, mainly have themselves to blame. For most of the postwar period, they were a force for progressive change, prospering by winning over public support for their agenda.
But the unions switched strategies. Although the change was gradual, by the 1990s, California’s government unions had decided that, rather than cultivate voter support for their objectives, they could exert more influence in the Legislature, and in the political process generally, by lavishing campaign contributions on lawmakers. Adopting the tactics of other special-interest groups, government unions paid lip service to democratic principles while excelling at the fundamentally anti-democratic strategy of writing checks to legislators, their election committees and political action committees.
While not illegal (in fact, such contributions are constitutionally protected), the unions’ aggressive spending on candidates put them on the same moral low ground as casino-owning tribes, insurance companies and other special interests that have concluded that the best way to influence the legislative process is to, well, buy it.
Find courageous candidates willing to take on the oily incumbents who carry union water. Winning won’t be easy, but the message will get out. Here in Illinois, a losing primary in 2012 will get you a seat in 2014.
If you don’t want to run, at least be active enough to educate and organize. If some legislator is too timid and limp to speak out against unions, primary them. This is the time. Just fight to win.
Some folks out there don’t like it when I call Public Education in Illinois a “Legalized Money-Laundering Scheme.” Sadly, it is a 100% accurate description of the legalized reaming of the Illinois taxpayer, all for the bloated payroll, perks, pensions and pork lathered on this fundamentally corrupt and powerful network of greedy unions, administrators, and the private interests that they have co-opted.
As more proof of the concept, I submit an article from today’s Tribune.
Schools districts may get state OK to issue bonds for buildings without voter approval
Appellate Court has barred practice, though many districts waltz around the ban anyway
Strapped for cash and taking their lumps on tax-increase measures, school districts in Chicagoland are increasingly skirting requirements for voter approval of building projects by issuing bonds that don’t require a referendum and then shifting that money from fund to fund.
Even after a state Appellate Court ruled last year that such maneuvers were improper, the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 board reached into a rainy-day fund for $4 million to install artificial turf at its two high school football fields.
Because the court held that another district inappropriately used working cash bonds on a building project, the Hinsdale board didn’t transfer the money directly. Instead it parked the cash in the district’s main education fund before moving it to building funds.
“Money-laundering,” one outraged school board member called it.
According to court filings, 95 school districts in Cook, DuPage and Will counties sold nearly $800 million in working cash bonds between 2000 and 2008 for building projects through these “back-door” means of avoiding referendums. Nearly 75 percent have been in Cook County.
State legislators are now considering a bill that would permit school districts to transfer working cash bond money to any school fund, allowing the controversial practice to become the norm. The legislation, which would be retroactive, was crafted by firms that specialize in school law and a nationally recognized bond counsel, Chapman and Cutler, which has advised schools on the practice.
State Rep. Paul Froehlich, D-Schaumburg, who served on a school board in Schaumburg District 54 from 1989 to 1993, voted against the bill, which was approved by the House and could come to a final Senate vote as early as Tuesday.
“I see it as an amnesty bill,” he said. “It’s giving amnesty to those school districts that didn’t follow the law.”
Critics of the legislation say a fund created to help districts pay bills when the state is late on its payments — as it is now — could be gutted by school districts with a proclivity to overspend. State Board of Education officials estimate 44 percent of districts will spend more than they take in this school year. As for taxpayers, the legislation would take away their right to vote down building projects through a referendum.
John Izzo, an attorney with Sraga Hauser, which represents about 100 of the state’s 869 school districts, helped draft the legislation and testified in favor of it in Springfield. He says the Appellate Court decision simply interpreted “an ambiguous provision” of the school code differently from how Chapman and Cutler and school attorneys had done in the past.
School districts could potentially be ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in tax refunds if the law is not changed.
School district attorneys say if the legislation doesn’t pass, schools will continue the financing method whether it be as a two-step process, three steps or even four steps.
“If (the bill) doesn’t get passed, in the future, school districts will just do it a different way,” Izzo said. “It won’t change how they do it.”
That last line should tell you just how vile, greedy, and corrupt these districts, law firms, and bond churning scum truly are. They care nothing for the law, the taxpayer, or the economy that funds their money-laundering scheme.
They only care about funding their greed and gluttony. They day is coming when they will be defeated. Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered, and it is time to slaughter this hog.
I’ve previewed “The Cartel,” and it is must see. If you like this site and its take on education, you need to invite one or 2 soccer moms to this movie and post-movie discussion. It is a mind-changer.
The Heartland Institute, For the Good of Illinois, and America’s Future Foundation invite you to the Chicago premier of “The Cartel.” Click here for a downloadable poster.
This compelling documentary highlights the problems and promise involved in transforming America’s schools … and exposes the cartel blocking that transformation at every turn.
To highlight the importance of this movie, your hosts will present Bob Bowdon, producer of “The Cartel.” Immediately following the movie’s showing, we’ll hold a question-and-answer session in the theater, featuring Bowden; Bruno Behrend, director of the Center for School Reform at The Heartland Institute; and Adam Andrzejewski, founder of For the Good of Illinois.
Space is limited, so make your reservations today! To secure your spot for this important, informative, and entertaining event:
Register online using a credit card or your PayPal account
Register with a credit card by calling Tonya Houston at 312/377-4000.
Register by sending a check to The Heartland Institute, 19 South LaSalle Street #903, Chicago, IL 60603.
Cancellation policy: Cancellations received by The Heartland Institute at 312/377-4000 on or before 5:00 pm CDT Friday, April 23 will be refunded in full. No refunds will be made for cancellations made after April 23, or for cancellations made by email at any time.
This event is an excellent opportunity to find out just how close we are to a real transformation of the American education system. It’s great way to introduce your friends and relatives to the organizations and people promoting necessary reforms.
The political backlash that I have been talking about is starting to happen everywhere. It is time to increase the pressure, and expand the front.
CENTRAL FALLS –– The teachers didn’t blink.
Under threat of losing their jobs if they didn’t go along with extra work for not a lot of extra pay, the Central Falls Teachers’ Union refused Friday morning to accept a reform plan for one of the worst-performing high schools in the state.
The superintendent didn’t blink either.
After learning of the union’s position, School Supt. Frances Gallo notified the state that she was switching to an alternative she was hoping to avoid: firing the entire staff at Central Falls High School. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.
Gallo blamed the union’s “callous disregard” for the situation, saying union leaders “knew full well what would happen” if they rejected the six conditions Gallo said were crucial to improving the school. The conditions are adding 25 minutes to the school day, providing tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer.
Re-Open every contract, cut pension and perks and add value for the student. If they balk, fire them, and re-hire the 1000s of people interested in actually teaching our children.
It is also time to start ridiculing every Republican Politician afraid of taking on the teacher’s unions.
It would be great to see the Good Guys win this one. There is no intellectually sound case for K-12 Teacher Tenure. Precipitate a strike. Fire them all.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it wants to remake public education around the principle that the best teachers should be promoted and rewarded, regardless of seniority.
And a brawl over just that idea is now playing out in the shadow of the White House.
[Note from Bruno - Obama will end up on the side of the Unions. Just watch.]
Ms. Rhee is trying to reduce what she believes to be a bloated school management and wrest more control over the district’s affairs from the powerful local teachers’ union. She has replaced principals, laid off teachers and closed underperforming schools.
She has also challenged what she feels is one of the biggest impediments to improvement: tenure, or strong job protections for teachers. The idea is to promise teachers much richer salaries, as well as performance bonuses, if they give up tenure. Good performers would be rewarded, poor performers gotten rid of.
In September, the 39-year-old Ms. Rhee, citing a looming budget gap, laid off nearly 400 school employees, including 266 teachers. The dismissals came weeks after Ms. Rhee finished hiring 934 new teachers over the summer. Ms. Rhee said she was initiating the layoffs based on “quality, not by seniority.”
The Washington Teachers’ Union filed a grievance and a lawsuit against the district over the layoffs, calling them “a blatant violation” of the union contract and a pretext for dismissing veterans without proper cause, which the district denies.
The feud has turned into a grudge match between Ms. Rhee and Randi Weingarten, head of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers, which has intervened directly in the local contract dispute. Ms. Rhee “has so poisoned the environment that I am not sure that we can ever get back to a good situation here,” said Ms. Weingarten.
I’d pass on offering “richer salaries” and just force the tenure issue, but Rhee deserves credit regardless. As for the ‘poisoned environment,’ that’s a howler coming from the unions that have poisoned every possible education reform with their lies and greed.
Again. Precipitate the strikes. Fire them all. At 10%+ unemployment, there are plenty who will fill the ranks. It’s time to crush these people.
If you want to know why this site takes a back seat to no one in attacking the vile public education system, it is because of stories like the one below. The people running our schools have a mindset that is so counter to the principles of this nation (not to mention reason and rationality) that they deserve nothing but derision, ridicule, and (hopefully someday) a trip the unemployment lines their awful system makes longer.
One can’t say enough about how vile these people are. Sadly, what too few of you are willing to admit, is that the mindset that pervades the entire class of education employees. It is why our schools are failing (and the nation with it).
Despite the budget-enforced closing of school libraries, the shuttering of arts and music programs and the layoff of teachers and counselors in other disciplines, the Post-Unitary Status Plan calls for a vigorous expansion of the program run by TUSD’s happy band of unrepentant political leftists.
The board’s plan also calls for changes intended (however counterproductive those plans may be) to improving the lot of minority students.
It wants to see more minority students enrolled in advanced-placement programs, for example – a laudable goal, certainly. But consider one significant part of the plan for “improving” the academic status of TUSD’s Black and Hispanic students:
The board is calling for a two-tiered form of student discipline. One for Black and Hispanic students; one for everyone else.
With the goal of creating a “restorative school culture and climate” that conveys a “sense of belonging to all students,” the board is insisting that its schools reduce its suspensions and/or expulsions of minority students to the point that the data reflect “no ethnic/racial disparities.”
From the section of the 52-page plan titled “Restorative School Culture and Climate,” subhead, “Discipline”:
“School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African-American and Hispanic students.”
The board approved creating an “Equity Team” that will oversee the plan to ensure “a commitment to social justice for all students.”
If you live in Illinois and know of a district that practices this, please contact me. I will initiate a lawsuit against any district on equal protection grounds. These disgusting people are irreparably damaging the children of America with this apartheid drivel.