Power, Not Children
“It is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective because we have power.”
These were sad and shocking admissions made by Bob Chanin, a leader of the National Education Association, an organization of which the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) is a member and significant funder.
I think it’s time Pennsylvanians have a serious conversation about the PSEA.
Protecting power — not kids, teachers and taxpayers — is what drives the PSEA.
And the PSEA is Tom Wolf’s largest union funder.
Worse yet, in Pennsylvania, public sector employees — like teachers — don’t get to choose whether or not they pay dues. Dues are taken from their paychecks and sent to the unions — like the PSEA — whether teachers like it or not.
This method of collecting union dues has made the PSEA very, very powerful.
And I’ve seen firsthand how the PSEA uses teachers’ dues against them, and against students and taxpayers.
They block every effort that would benefit these stakeholders — like solving the pension crisis so that money can actually go to the classroom, and eliminating school property taxes so hardworking people can keep their homes.
Back in February, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill that would stop the PSEA from collecting involuntary dues, and curb their ability to block what’s good for stakeholders. Senate Bill 166 (Paycheck Protection) passed with a vote of 28 (Y) to 22 (N), and upon passage was sent to the House for a vote. This past week, however, the State House defeated the bill by a vote of 102 (no) to 90 (yes).
The PSEA doesn’t like me much — and I’m not particularly fond of the way they work against teachers, students and taxpayers — but make no mistake. When I’m governor, changing this power dynamic will be a top priority of my administration.
Unlike Bob Chanin and the PSEA, as the governor of Pennsylvania, I will be representing children, teachers and taxpayers from day one, because for me, it is about children, and it is about having a great public school for every child, every teacher and every taxpayer.