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Bruce Bialosky

Teachers’ Unions — Killing the Competition

Suppose “New Burger” (a new chain of burger joints) opened to great reviews – perhaps something that is not very surprising. What would be surprising is if McDonald’s decided it was going to throw all of its massive resources at New Burger to kill it off. If McDonald’s made charges that New Burger was not operating within the law or selling tainted meat that would be quite surprising. You would probably wonder why an operation with over 38,000 locations was so desperate to kill off the competition. Of course, McDonald’s would never do that. They are used to operating in a competitive environment. Sadly, this scenario does not apply to the teachers’ unions; they will try to strangle any competition.

This was brought to light recently when the teachers (backed by their unions) decided to not show up to classrooms because of COVID-19. They complained it was a safety issue, but it really wasn’t. The teachers were not personally affected as they continue to “teach” remotely and receive their full salary, health care and retirement benefits.

Parents decided that the remote learning was not providing their children a proper education and started to fight back. They wanted the teachers in the classrooms and a ruckus started across the country. For their part, the teachers in public schools held firm and the administrators and local politicians caved. We learned who was more important, as if we did not already know, and it is not the children.

Parents started pulling their kids out of the schools. They finally woke up to the facts they and their children are not the customers – it is the teachers. After all, who gives more money to the politicians?

Prior to COVID, Education Week stated home schooled children were three percent of the school age population nationwide. That number jumped to 10% in 2020. How many will continue sending their kids to public schools is yet to be answered. Private school enrollment has risen also. The country’s largest operator of virtual schools has had its enrollment jump from 123,000 to 170,000 in one year.

The teachers’ unions did not like this threat to their monopoly, and, like every other threat, they try to kill it off with lies and innuendo. They constantly attack charter schools and at least in California they even attacked homeschooling. The teachers’ unions insisted that anyone teaching a child has to be licensed by the state and use a curriculum approved by the state department of education. In March 2008, an appeals court ruled that a parent teaching their own child must have a state credential. That ruling was fortunately overturned. But that has not stopped teachers and their unions from trying to kill off the next challenge to their stranglehold on the educational system.

Don’t mess with parents wanting to educate their kids. Just like they formed carpools so they can get their kids to school and get to work every day, they formed education pods. In effect, mini-classrooms. These pods were deemed dangerous by the teachers’ unions. Remember anything challenging the monopoly is dangerous. Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association (NEA), struck back. She stated, “pods will become widespread and damage a public-education system already reeling from budget cuts and struggling to fund COVID-19 safety measures.” Ms. Pringle did not specify the budget cuts because they are non-existent. At best there are increases in the budgets deemed inadequate by her. The funding for safety measures is certainly not the ridiculous $130 billion proposed by the lapdogs in the Biden Administration who are owned by the teachers’ unions. That would be on top of the $65 billion previously allocated and not accounted for. And last, what exactly is dangerous about parents gathering their kids together to get them an education the teachers refuse to supply while they line their own pockets?

Ms. Pringle went on and did what is de rigueur – invoking racism. “This in turn could open the door for more inequity, segregation and unsafe workplaces, since pods are expensive and unregulated.” If they are indeed expensive, they certainly pale in comparison to public schools at over $15,000 per student in many systems with more non-class personnel than class personnel. Regulations controls in school systems like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York leading to high rates of failed students and miserable graduation rates. Worse, our national press reprints Ms. Pringle’s garbage comments without calling her to task.

Then Ms. Pringle went in for the kill. She went after Prenda. Prenda until this time was an obscure operation that was aimed at helping parents educate their children that have been abandoned by the public schools and cannot afford to pay for the public schools through taxes and private schooling. Here is a link to their website.  Dangerous stuff here. The Democrats will probably include them in the domestic terrorism bill.

Instead of letting an insignificant competitor remain so, the NEA issued an “opposition report.” The union attacked Prenda for lack of safety charging inadequate protections. In the 2017-2018 school year, there were 962,300 violent incidents in public schools. The union had the audacity to question safety in parents’ homes while parents are running away from public schools because of their lack of safety. The NEA will probably recommend an armed guard at all Prenda sites as there is at most high schools in America.

The NEA went on to chastise Prenda for not providing meals or transportation for the students. It might be parents on their own can figure out how to get their kids to the site and Prenda figured out the parents are not going to let their kids starve during the day. It is almost surprising the NEA did not demand a nutritionist present at every Prenda site.

The teachers’ unions did not stop at attacking Prenda. They went to the state legislatures that are bought and paid for by union dues and demanded their lackeys go after the pods. We will see how that turns out, but none of their actions will be beneficial to the people they are supposed to protect – the children.

There is a reason our national leaders went after monopolies and restricted them in the beginning of the 20th century. We now have very dangerous monopolies controlling our educational systems in many of our states. They have a stranglehold on the elected officials in many of those states. They are willing to crush any and all competition to their monopoly. Their results show they are the most racist organizations in America. Once again, we have positive proof that they only care about their members and have little regard for their supposed customers – the children.

NOTE: The only way to stop the teachers’ unions from this unacceptable behavior is to stop paying them for not showing up. Then we will see if they really believe what they believe.