I get angry when I hear Texas politicians blaming teacher unions for things. You’ve heard the drill. Teacher unions are loaded with money and political power and they use that muscle to protect bad teachers. That’s why our schools are so bad. It’s been repeated so often on so many TV and radio talk shows that it’s become the accepted conventional wisdom.
But it’s poppycock. At least here in Texas it’s poppycock. There are states where teachers have powerful unions, but Texas does not happen to be one of them. To be a “union” you have to have the authority to engage in collective bargaining. That’s illegal for public employees here in Texas. If you’ve got no collective bargaining, you’ve got no union. What you have is an association that seeks to make life better for its members.
I guarantee you that if Texas had the kind of politically powerful teacher unions that exist in other states, the Senate would never have passed the insulting bill that bars teachers from paying organizational dues by payroll deduction. The Senate bill allows cops and firefighters to use payroll deduction—but not teachers.
Big bad teacher unions make for a convenient scapegoat. And if you are a politician who has helped undermine public education by raising standards while reducing resources, you sure need a convenient scapegoat.
DAWG BONE: THERE IS ANOTHER MORE EARTHY WORD FOR “POPPYCOCK,” BUT THIS IS A FAMILY PUBLICATION
File this one under: GOVERNANCE