The Seattle Times editorial board says “Congress should be ashamed” of a bill that sends $10 billion to states to avert nationwide teacher layoffs, because it diverts money from food stamps and child nutrition programs. But you don’t need to read between the lines to see that the Times’ ed board really just views this bill as yet another opportunity to attack organized labor.
Teachers unions single-mindedly urged lawmakers to save their members’ jobs even as many Americans lose theirs. … Union leaders may see this as a victory and testament of their clout and influence. But children’s advocates are right to be disgusted.
[…] Congress also failed to use the money to exact reform. For example, advocates for poor and minority children failed to persuade lawmakers to make school districts shed a long-standing practice of teacher layoffs that prioritize seniority over other factors, such as effectiveness.
Education is the best investment of public dollars, but only if spending drives improvements, rather than rewarding a powerful interest group.
In other words, education is a good investment of public dollars, but only if spending is used to break the evil teachers unions.
Honestly, you didn’t have to read any further than the lede — which describes the bill as a “misguided bailout for teachers” — to figure out where the Times was going. A bailout…? Really? And for teachers?
Calling this bill a “bailout for teachers” is like calling the GM takeover a “bailout for autoworkers,” or the Wall Street rescue a “bailout for homeowners.” It implies and confers blame on the teachers for their own precarious situation. According to the Times, Congress isn’t bailing out school districts or the families they serve, but the teachers… because, you know, they’re the ones responsible for fucking up state and district budgets, I guess.
I mean, hell… why not just fire them all and start over from scratch, like President Reagan did with the air traffic controllers? Forget about teaching children; what we really need to do is teach those uppity, union bastards a lesson they’ll never forget.
Oh, and by the way, if you can trust the Times’ numbers, the bill saves 3,000 teaching jobs right here in Washington state, more than 5% of our state’s roughly 59,000 classroom teachers. Lose those teachers, and you pretty much increase class size by another one or two students each. And apparently, the Times is okay with that.