Organized labor cares more about teachers’ rights than kids’ education
If you can’t beat them, take them over. That seems to be the new union strategy on charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are governed by private groups that sign a contract, or charter, with the state. The charter requires that the school meet certain standards of accountability in return for taxpayer funding, but in other areas it exempts the school from many burdensome state or local regulations. Some of the most burdensome are rules required by labor unions.
Charter school teachers usually are not required to join existing union collective-bargaining units. This means charter schools can more easily promote good teachers and fire bad ones. But, of course, this has made charter schools targets for hostile union action.Unions correctly view charter schools as a threat to their stranglehold over public education and the tax dollars that come with it. Unions have denounced charter schools for “skimming” off the best students from the public schools, and they have sued school districts that introduce charter schools. Unions have tried to block or repeal charter school laws, and they’ve tried to limit the number of charter schools allowed by states.