• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Big Labor vs. 1,800 D.C. Schoolchildren


    Since being sworn into office a little over a month ago, President Barack Obama has found a way to increase the size of government spending in just about every possible way. Except when it comes to government spending to empower parents to better educate their children. George Will notes:

    In one wee particular, congressional Democrats want to shrink government. At the behest of the teachers’ unions, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill dooms a $14 million (a rounding error on GM’s bailout) scholarship program that enables 1,800 children, mostly low-income and minorities, to escape the District of Columbia’s catastrophic public schools. But sinking this lifeboat for the poor serves liberalism’s dependency agenda: No poor child left outside the government’s education plantation.

    The Examiner’s Tim Carney details just how the teachers’ unions became such a powerful special interest in the Obama Administration and Congress:

    Beltway bandits, defense contractors, influential industries—most of them pale in their influence efforts compared to the teachers unions, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Take defense contractors. Lockheed Martin, the top recipient of military contracts most years, spent more on politics than any other defense firm in the 2008 elections. They still spent less than the American Federation of Teachers, which shelled out $2.8 million in the last cycle—with nearly every AFT dime going to Democrats.

    The top two teachers unions—AFT and the National Education Association—spent more combined, $5.27 million, than the top two defense contractors.

    The top five lobbying firms, combined, didn’t equal the AFT and the NEA in federal contributions in the 2008 cycle. Both of the teachers unions gave more than any oil company, and the NEA and AFT combined gave more than the top four oil companies combined.

    These contributions give the unions clout, and federal lobbying records show they use this clout. Again, on closer inspection, the teachers unions look an awful lot like those corporate special interests Democrats supposedly oppose.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Big Labor vs. 1,800 D.C. Schoolchildren

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      The Teachers' Union is the death knell of America.

      Why can' we put up a big banner right in front of the White House which says " Don't enslave 1800 DC children; stop the NEA slave masters".

      It is unconscionable how they are destroying opportunities for those kids.

    2. Tim AZ says:

      On a positive note it is possible to shrink the teachers unoins simply by homeschooling. Fewer students means less gvt. money. Less govt. money fewer teachers. Fewer teachers less money contributed to teachers unions through union dues.

      Americans have been doing this for years to labor unions by not paying high prices for union made products when ever possible. Unfortunately the porkulus package has legislation in it to allow union workers to intimidate non union workers into joining the local unions. Yes the gangsters are back no more secret ballots. This will serve to futher deepen the recession by forcing more companies into bankruptcy. American citizens will not be able to pay higher prices for union made products.

    3. charles, wyoming.usa says:

      destroy the kid's furture, and indocternate them with the correct socialist/communist thinking. that's is exactly what it boils down to. they want gooood little children to be and do their bidding for them. so much for our constitutional ammendment against slavery.

    4. Rebecca, Texas, USA says:

      The teacher unions here in Texas are trying their best to shut down homeschooling. They have funded certain candidates' campaigns, one in particular at least $75,000-$100,000, in order to reclaim more state and federal money, along with gaining power and indoctrinating children with failed/dead ideologies and fake science, aka "global warming". It's amazing how many parents don't have a clue as to what these unions really stand for and some of the causes they promote other than education. I wonder if their members even know. They are no different from any other union. The NEA website says that they promote "public" education, not education. They should be called the National Public (Government) Education Association. Scary!

    5. John Clancy Wyandot says:

      There have been many negative forces at work in America during the last 50 years, but none has been as insidious as our government schools in the grip of powerful labor unions. The Detroit schools are an example, where many of the leaders in these unions sharpened their weapons: during the 60's, 70's, and 80's the strikes brought higher and higher salaries, but the children in the government schools of Detroit remained the same. The Democrats, for the most part, promote this enslavement of our children, especially minority children.

    6. duelles, Santa Fe, N says:

      Somewhere in my childhood I found columns in our newspaper by W. F. Buckley. Why, as a teenager who could spring a bad attitude on a teacher like cat on a mouse, should Mr. Buckley have interested me – I know not. But through his writings, I found Edmund Burke, Milton Friedman, Freidrich Hayek and others followed who gave me more than school and analysing the 'Grapes of Wrath' ever did.

      I was never home schooled, but fought the authoritarian thing tooth and nail. I ended up in a diffierent school almost every year, public high school and two seperate boarding schools. My parents were saints not to have quit.

      Here I am at 60 living off investments – not as well as I could have been, UGH! – And am still learning no thanks to the NEA -only about the NEA.

    7. Rachel, Cookeville, says:

      I knew Barack Obama was going to be a conservative's nightmare as a President, but I could never have guessed how much damage this man and his Congress have done in less than 6 weeks. God help us over a remaining period of 3 years, 46 weeks! Concerning this issue of halting the DC voucher program, I pray that every news outlet would shout this to the nation. Two of these students affected currently attend the school where his children go. Hypocrisy at it's HEIGHT!

      God help us all.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.