Engaging Culture

No Wonder the California Public Schools are Screwed Up

The Wall Street Journal reports that The California Teachers Association has donated more money to fight California’s proposition 8 (that defines marriage as between a man and a woman) than even gay advocacy organizations and civil-rights groups.  Just last week, the teacher’s union donated $1 million to the “No on Prop 8” campaign.  Totally, $1.25 million of the $3 million raised has come from the union.   The question is – what does K-12 public education have to do with gay marriage?  This is in spite of the fact that the
drop-out rate is 1-in-4 in California and 1-in-3 in Los Angeles.  The results get worse with black and Hispanic students.  What the union can’t seem to answer is why isn’t that money going into the California public schools?  But the fact is, the teacher’s union has supported left-wing causes for a long time.  As the Journal asks:  “Public school teachers of America, take note.  This is your dues money at work.”


  1. I too am a member of 3 unions, and have served as an officer in one and have walked over a hundred hours on picket lines. Unions should have the right to support candidates who acts in their best interest especially when their corporate bosses give 11 dollars to 1 union dollar to the campaigns. The GOP i.e. Bush wants the corporations to be able to donate and not the unions. The problem is that if you are a union member and or Pro-Labor who is also a social conservative and the Pro-Labor candidate is also the Pro-Choice or Pro-Gay Marriage/No on 8 candidate you are in conflict. Part of the solution is to show up at a union meeting once and awhile and voice your opinion. Less than 10% participate in the process. Another part is to read the voter guides you get in the mail and take the TV ads with a grain of salt.
  2. While I believe that we are over-regulated already, perhaps what is needed is a law that prohibits unions, businesses, clubs, etc. from donating funds anything other then charity causes (including elections).

    If it requires a vote – you can't donate! 

  3. I am a member of 3 unions, and have served as an officer in two, and like it or not, unions are political action committees, not charities, and they can do whatever they want with their money, even endorse candidates, unlike churches. There is a common misperception that union dues are tax deductible: they're not. That being said, the internal battle in most unions over the use of PAC money is usually pretty intense: during the Ed Asner years at SAG, a lot of members disconvered that you can withdraw your financial support for the unions non-union related expenses (the PAC) by declaring yourself a "core" member: it reduces you dues, and you lose your voting status (which very few members use, anyway). Perhaps there is a way to encourage more teachers, who are probably much too busy to even notice what their union is doing, to get more involved. Failing that, perhaps they can help de-fund the PAC. And why? Because union officials are politicians, and will trade power for advantage for money just like any other politician, and they are even less answerable than most. Unions; can't live with them, can't live without them.

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