To Billionaires, Union Busting is called "Philanthropy"
It must be nice owning a major news media outlet. It gives you a megaphone to post virtually any vile thing that you want, and the right-wing is sure to echo it. Failed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has unleashed an absolutely massive attack on teachers unions.
It’s one of the biggest education-focused gifts in philanthropic history: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced he would spend $750 million over the next five years to expand charter schools.
“You can legitimately call it unprecedented,” said Megan Tompkins-Stange, who studies education philanthropy at the University of Michigan. “A gift of that size historically has had the power to reshape a field.”
It's a "historic, unprecedented, philanthropic gift." How come it doesn't feel that way?
Yes, this great man is spending all of this money to help us undeserving, little people.
America owes Michael Bloomberg a debt of gratitude for supporting charter schools with his fortune (“Why I’m Backing Charter Schools,” op-ed, Dec. 2). No doubt he will have to brave insults launched by the teachers unions, but those of us whose kids attended charters know he’s right.
...Starting in fifth grade, NCS students dramatically increased their scores in math, reading and science. Scores for district students in the same income group dropped.
Gee, I wonder why scores for the same students in public schools starting dropping at the same time? It must be because of those evil teachers unions, amirite?
Or maybe, just maybe, it's because charter schools can pick and choose the best students, rejecting those with learning disabilities, which then get dumped on public schools, who by law can't reject any child.
Meanwhile, those public funds gets redirected to private charter schools, thus leaving already strapped public schools increasingly underfunded.
Adding schools to an area when enrollment is declining can force shrinking schools to close.
Some see that as a feature. “If a school district has to close a school because of movement to schools of quality choice, I think that is what needs to happen,” said Kemp.
But closures are highly controversial, and often face intense opposition from families whose children will be displaced.
Just so we are perfectly clear, Bloomberg is investing this mountain of money into charter schools, not because they are almost always non-union (which they are), but because it helps poor minority children. You see it's billionaires that care about poor children, not those elitist public school teachers.
Although a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union thankfully ended this week, the damage has been done. The unlawful walkout exposed an indifference not just to science but to the emotional and academic well-being of more than 340,000 schoolchildren. It also showed why President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders need to break the grip of teachers unions over the country’s public schools — or risk irreversible damage to the students who can afford it least...
Given the transmissibility of the omicron variant, it’s inevitable that Covid cases will rise as schools reopen. But the health risk the variant poses to children is far outweighed by the proven cognitive and emotional harm caused by remote learning...Under the guise of promoting the safety of students, union leaders had demanded working conditions that far exceed what’s necessary for them to do their jobs safely.
Note the consistent theme in right-wing sources of how essential workers, like teachers, are suddenly not essential when it comes to their safety at work or pay.
Many teachers earn less than a family living wage, up to a quarter of the workforce leaves teaching annually and about one-fifth are forced to seek a second job.
This has led to a severe nationwide teacher shortage.
Despite having the advantage of serving relatively few students with disabilities, pre-pandemic research suggests that charter schools perform about the same as nearby district schools on standardized tests.
Also, many charter schools were also slow to fully reopen, including Success Academy, which Bloomberg touted.
Teacher shortages are chronic in some districts, and getting worse. More than half the principals surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center who said they closed schools during the latest Covid wave did so because they didn’t have enough staff. The number of education job openings overall surged by nearly 75% this fall compared to the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Despite all of these facts, the "solution" for the billionaires is to crush teachers unions. That will lead to worse working conditions and lower pay for teachers. Which will lead to bigger classrooms, worse teaching candidates, and somehow better schools???
Essentially, this is all part of a wealthy wide-ranging plan to crush public education in this country, and this is being done by demonizing school teachers.
Indeed, attacking teachers and schools over both Covid-19 and “critical race theory” is a primary Republican organizing strategy. As of December of 2021, eight Republican-controlled states had passed anti-democratic laws restricting teachers’ ability to teach the truth about US history. In Tennessee, teachers who teach about the history of racial discrimination risk losing funding for their schools. In Wisconsin, Republican legislators passed a law that would result in multi-thousand-dollar fines for teachers who mention topics like race or equity. In Texas, teachers are being required to teach “both sides” of topics such as the Holocaust and slavery. And in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has introduced a bill that would empower parents to sue teachers for teaching the truth about US history. Meanwhile, just last week, a school board in Pennsylvania explicitly instructed teachers not to teach about the January 6 insurrection.
Through it all, the White House, the federal Department of Education, and the Democratic Party have done nothing to defend teachers or public education.
...Meanwhile, the very real dangers kids and teachers face in schools—like Covid-19 or school shootings—have been met with learned helplessness from the media and leading Democrats.
Ah, yes. BOTH sides of the Holocaust and slavery. That's what is important. Not doing something about school shootings.
This country has lost it's f*cking mind.