Why aren’t Weingarten, AFT more focused on education than immigration?

Oct 10, 2013 by

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It wasn’t so disturbing when American Federation of Teachers President Rhonda Weingarten was arrested earlier this year in Philadelphia, protesting the closure of some neighborhood schools.

aftAt least she was addressing an issue related to education.

But now we hear that Weingarten was arrested while protesting yesterday in Washington, D.C. at the “Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect.” Participants were rallying for comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration policy.

That’s all fine and good, but we wonder if she was protesting on company time?

Oh, wait a minute. Her employer would have no problem with Weingarten spending time on issues like this. The AFT is a wide-ranging political organization that concerns itself with a host of issues, including minority rights, women’s rights, gay rights, transgender rights and abortion rights, just to name a few.

Check out some of the special interests that have received big donations from the AFT in recent years – The Rev. Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, the National Immigration Reform Action Fund, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Economic Policy Institute and the NAACP, according to UnionWatch.org.

That’s money that could have been earmarked for public schools, teacher training or enrichment efforts, or anything else that might benefit students.

The union clearly has many points of interest – including political activism within the Democratic Party.

That might not be a problem if the union played only an outside role in the functioning of public schools. Unfortunately that’s not the case. The AFT controls thousands of public schools through various provisions in collective bargaining agreements and its ability to elect union-friendly school boards.

With that much influence in the education world, it would be nice if AFT leaders focused solely – or at least largely – on education. Many American public schools have become dysfunctional and our students are falling behind their peers from other nations.

In short, the American public education system needs serious repairs. But for the most part the AFT is content to shoot down school reform proposals that do not benefit the union, and protecting some of the worst teachers who ought to be guided toward other professions.

The education crisis demands immediate attention. If Weingarten and her union don’t have the time or interest in focusing on that issue, they should step aside and let people who are interested do the dirty work of fixing our nation’s schools.

Why aren’t Weingarten, AFT more focused on education than immigration? – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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