Battle For The Schools
Acquaint Yourself With The Opposition
Who will control government sponsored education in our schools going forward? There are school board trustee elections across the State of Idaho and the patriots running for office need to be educated about the teacher’s union and their agenda. “It is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory,” the National Education Association resolved at its 2021 annual meeting. The organization also decided to “join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to call for a rally this year on October 14—George Floyd’s birthday—as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”
Agree or disagree with those ideas, they are explicitly ideological positions adopted by a labor union representing public school teachers. They invite opposition from parents with opposing views. Republican Glenn Youngkin won a victory in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial race fueled by what The New York Times called “frustration with schooling” and public “hostility toward teachers’ unions.” The NEA’s draw to teachers is eroding, too. “The NEA lost about 115,500 members who are working teachers and school support staff from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2022,” says Education Week.
The Idaho Education Association and the NEA are powerful players not only in Idaho but in local communities as well. They have the support of much of the media and will mount a full throated attack on any attempt to take power. A good example is the West Bonner School District in Priest River and their attempts to reform the district. Since a majority of students in most American school districts can’t read or perform math equations at grade level, you might think the nation’s largest teachers’ union would spend at least part of its annual national convention pushing solutions to this sad state of affairs. Nope. And the union did take up dozens of “new business items” (NBIs) at its misnamed “representative assembly” this summer in Orlando, Fla. One of the NBIs urged all “affiliates” to avoid dealings with any jurisdiction that says or does anything the union doesn’t like – yet here they were meeting in Florida, a state run by, gasp!, a Republican.
If you think it’s far-fetched to suggest that a teachers union could play the role of political kingmaker, think again. The largest political campaign spender in America is not a mega-corporation, such as Wal-Mart, Microsoft, or ExxonMobil. It isn’t an industry association, like the American Bankers Association or the National Association of Realtors. It’s not even a labor federation, like the AFL-CIO. If you combine the campaign spending of all those entities it does not match the amount spent by the National Education Association, the public-sector labor union that represents some 2.3 million K–12 public school teachers and nearly a million education support workers (bus drivers, custodians, food service employees), retirees, and college student members. NEA members alone make up more than half of union members working for local governments, by far the most unionized segment of the U.S. economy.
Despite claims that Florida and other jurisdictions are “targeting” union-favored groups with “discrimination and violence,” it turns out the union was perfectly free to push its toxic worldview for several days, calling for specific attacks against its enemies and a propaganda campaign to back it up. Truly devoted teachers – who put the interests of innocent children above the political agenda of unions – are listed among the NEA’s enemies. Many groups have been crying out for decades seeking relief, but almost no one listens. And since unions control the conversation around education, most Americans are fooled into thinking that teachers agree with the union agenda.
Here is the challenge. Go to your school district’s website and look at the labor agreement your district has with the union. Remember, this is a legally binding agreement enforceable in the courts. Who is running your schools? Most agreements have provisions for released, paid time for teachers to conduct union business. How much control has your school board turned over to the union? Be ready and prepared as you vote in November. We need people with commitment and courage to run for their local schools. Pray for them.