Alabama teachers union follows the playbook by using the courts and friendly judges to block education reform

Mar 7, 2013 by

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Why do states even bother electing governors and legislators?

In theory, they are chosen by the people to provide leadership for their states and make the crucial decisions that all will abide by.stop lawsuit abuse sign

But that’s not the way it works, particularly when it comes to crucial decisions regarding education.

In state after state over the past few years, brave lawmakers have approved sweeping reforms to bring the destructive power of teachers unions under control, improve the quality of instruction for children, and increase school choice options for families.

And in case after case, news laws have been held up indefinitely because the teachers unions file lawsuits with politically friendly judges, and the judges issue injunctions to keep the law from taking effect until the long hearing and appeals process is exhausted.

It’s an insult to millions of voters who elect state lawmakers and expect action.

The latest example comes from Alabama, where the legislature passed a new law last week that gives schools more flexibility to work around burdensome state regulations. One provision of the law, added at the last minute, would provide state tax credits for parents of children stuck in persistently failing schools to send them to private schools.

Gov. Robert Bentley was prepared to enthusiastically sign the bill Tuesday afternoon, but the Alabama Education Association filed a last minute lawsuit, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the governor from affixing his signature.

Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Robert Price heard arguments from both sides of the issue in a hearing Tuesday afternoon, and is expected to issue a ruling today. State officials say they will appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court if Price blocks the implementation of the law.

Unions hate competition

Most average people would support the idea of government helping parents find a decent school for their children. But not the Alabama Education Association.

The AEA’s lawsuit is based on the claim that the majority Republicans in the legislature violated the “joint rules of the legislature” by adding a new appropriation to a proposed law in conference committee. The union also claims that GOP lawmakers violated the state’s open meetings act by meeting in private to discuss their legislative strategy.

But those are nothing more than technical objections. Everyone knows the real reason behind the lawsuit. Any type of program that helps children escape miserable public schools is a threat to the union’s financial health.

If enough children leave public schools, there will be less of a demand for unionized public school teachers. If too many union teachers are laid off, the flow of dues money to the union will start to dry up.

Public schools and their unions detest any form of competition. They want a guaranteed clientele of students every year, along with the state money attached to them. And they don’t want to be forced to work harder or improve to maintain their stable of students.

They want them trapped into attending the same public schools, year after year, regardless of the quality of education they receive.

The unions don’t care about families or kids. They care about money, just like any other wealthy, powerful political organization. When will the American people start to understand that obvious fact, and begin demanding an end to unions and collective bargaining in public schools?

If you lose, just take it to court

What a sickening rerun we’re being forced to watch. This type of thing has happened in virtually every state where lawmakers have tried to act in the best interest of children.

It happened in Wisconsin in 2011 when the state passed Act 10, limiting the collective bargaining power of teachers unions and giving school boards more power to control their own budgets. That law is still being contested in state and federal courts.

It happened in Ohio in 2011, after the state passed SB 5, a law very similar to Wisconsin’s Act 10. Some judge put the law on hold for months, allowing the unions to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the statewide ballot.

It happened last year in Louisiana, where the teachers union found a friendly judge to declare Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher expansion program to be unconstitutional. It happened again this week in Louisiana, where another judge ruled that Jindal’s tenure reform law is unconstitutional.

It happened in Florida and Michigan over the past few years, when the unions convinced judges to delay and then overturn state laws forcing teachers to pay more toward their own pension plans.

The list of examples could go on and on, because the unions have no respect for democracy. If they lose at the ballot box, they will find another way to win. It doesn’t matter how they win. In Big Labor circles, the end has always justified the means.

It’s surprising that anybody even bothers to vote in state elections. Anything of any importance that their leaders try to accomplish will just be decided by the courts, anyway.

Perhaps we should just skip the legislative process and send our state’s most troubling issues straight to the judges to deal with. Who needs elected government, anyway?

via Alabama teachers union follows the playbook by using the courts and friendly judges to block education reform – :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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