In a stinging op-ed published yesterday in the LA Times, CFIF senior fellow Troy Senik focuses the blame for California’s failing public education system squarely where it belongs: the California Teachers Association (”CTA”). Senik writes:
California’s education tailspin has been blamed on class sizes, on the property tax restrictions enforced by Proposition 13, on an influx of Spanish-speaking students. But no portrait of the schools’ downfall would be complete without mention of the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, arguably the state’s most powerful union and a political behemoth that has blocked meaningful education reform, protected failing and even criminal educators, and pushed for pay raises and benefits that have reached unsustainable levels.
Senik goes on to explain how the CTA is using its “fat bank account fed by mandatory dues that can run to more than $1,000 per member” to maintain and build its political dominance in the state. In the past decade alone, Senik notes, “the CTA had spent more than $210 million…on political campaigning — more than any other donor in the state.”
Fortunately, there are signs of hope to help counter the CTA’s political stranglehold that has enabled it to prop up its own interests over that of students: Parents are starting to revolt against the union’s orthodoxy. And “unlike elected officials, parents are hard for the union to demonize.”
Read the entire piece here.