Payback to Cherokee schools by local lawmakers: Will governor provide the knock-out punch?

The chair of the Cherokee County Board of Education is asking the governor to veto House Bill 978, which is one of the most surprising and invasive pieces of local legislation this session. I am uncertain why a GOP-led body would violate its less government/local control mantra to meddle in a county with a darn good school system.

This bill has already drawn fire from SACS, the accrediting agency that oversees Cherokee schools.

I doubt Cherokee will get much help from Nathan Deal, who often takes a see no evil, hear no evil posture with the Legislature, but this bill does strike at the heart of much of what the governor professes to believe about the rights of local voters to decide their representation.

HB 978 has been described as payback to the Cherokee school board for nixing a charter school application, which again surprises me as there were legitimate concerns about the project.

I think the lesson here is that politicians of any party will violate their own foundational beliefs to make a point and punish an adversary. (I think in school it is called bullying.)

March 30, 2012

The Honorable Governor Nathan Deal,

On behalf of the Cherokee County School Board and as Chairman of the School Board, I again respectfully request that you veto House Bill 978, which I have learned was submitted to you for your signature on March 29, 2012.

As I have stated in my two previous requests, this bill is not the will of the School Board or the public.

The School Board last fall unanimously adopted a Legislative Program that was presented to the Delegation; the first priority in that program was to maintain the current governance model. The School Board, also at a public meeting last year, by a super majority, approved a reapportionment map and sent it to the Delegation.

There is no need for you to sign HB 978 and change the posts and the governance model. A 2002 court case over the same issue in Cobb County determined there is no legal requirement for the Legislature to reapportion when elections are at-large, as they currently are for our School Board. The Delegation’s efforts to redraw the lines to put two incumbents into the same post and to limit how many School Board members voters get to elect are not only obviously political payback, they are also unnecessary.

My greatest concern with this entire situation is protecting the future of our system and the families that rely on it. If House Bill 978 becomes law, it will threaten the past decade of success experienced by the Cherokee County School District, which has been achieved largely in part as a result of the current governance model; and the bill also potentially jeopardizes our School District’s accreditation, which currently is at the highest level attainable by a school system.

I respectfully request that you veto HB 978.

Sincerely,

Mike Chapman

Chairman, Cherokee County Board of Education

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

56 comments Add your comment

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

March 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

god, what happened to our once great Georgia?

it has deteriorated into just an embarrassing mess.

Man those people with their 21st century jerbs are gonna flock here now

Rockerbabe

March 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

I’ll bet the good citizens of Cherokee County voted for Nathan Deal in the last election. You folks are reaping what you sow. The GOP can’t be trusted with anything!

that's goofy

March 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

I have zero sympathy for those in Cherokee County opposed to HB978. You voted for the Cherokee Republican Representatives. This is what happens when you vote party first.

Also think it is time to break up the Banana Republic that Dr. P runs. Too many do nothings in the board of education making over 6 figures while parapros, custodians, lunch staff are downsized.

EduKtr

March 30th, 2012
4:02 pm

Those vociferous in demanding limits to parental choice always amaze me. Unlike government monopoly schools—charter schools can only succeed by demonstrating to parents that they offer a superior product. Why would anyone oppose that?

Well, there are the teacher unions of course. Rent the excellent film “Waiting for Superman” to see why Steve Jobs famously thought no real reform was possible in education (biography p.544) until the teacher unions (National Education Association, etc.) are pushed aside. Teacher union stand-ins such as GAE/CCAE can be counted on to trumpet the union line. As can the always pro-Democrat AJC.

The solution to failing schools is competition. The enemies of education solutions are therefore the defenders of the status quo.

Charter Schools are Good Why all the Fuss

March 30th, 2012
4:02 pm

Why all the evil villain analogies and going to the dark side?
Charter schools are good. They are competition for a monopoly. The only people who are scared of charter schools are the ones who profit from the monopoly.
Anti-monopoly is good government.
Bloated bureaucratic monopolies aren’t.
If Cherokee County has good public schools, they will stay. If they aren’t good, they’ll go. That’s what competition is about.
And competition is very American, no matter what party you voted for.
GM

EduKtr

March 30th, 2012
4:08 pm

… I might add that the National Education Association and GAE have much money invested in keeping Democrats in power and thereby stifling education reform. They haven’t endorsed (and lavishly funded) every Democrat presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter for nothing.

Public school kids and their parents will continue to pay the price.

carlosgvv

March 30th, 2012
4:08 pm

With most politicians, payback means more than the interests of the people. With redneck Georgia politicans, it takes on an especially base character.

Old Physics Teacher

March 30th, 2012
4:24 pm

Lord have mercy, EduKtr! Take a breath! Calm down; go back on your meds. Now, have you calmed down? Before you go off again, I want you to watch this movie called Spiderman. After you finish that, I want you to watch another mover called Superman.

OK, have you done that? Now… there is no such thing as Spiderman. It’s not possible for any organism larger than an insect to fall three stories and swing back up without tearing their arms out of their sockets. Wait, wait, wait just a minute and let me finish. There no such thing as Superman either. IT’S JUST A MOVIE — IT’S NOT REAL LIFE. Neither is Waiting On Superman. IT’S JUST A MOVIE — IT’S NOT REAL LIFE. It was just a “hit piece” done to make a political point.

And Steve Jobs knew as much about education as Bill Gates. Both of them were/are college dropouts. The fact that they were/are millionaires is irrelevant. We’re talking about ALL the children of the USA – not just the exceptions to the rule. When you blame the “unions”, when you KNOW there are no unions in Georgia, you’re blaming a scapegoat. When you blame teachers for the failure of students to learn, you’re trying to blame the “ruler” for the fact that the “line” isn’t long enough.

Listen to these simple facts:
The USA currently graduates more high school graduates than it ever has before.
We graduate more college students than we ever have before.
We graduate more high school grades and college graduates than any other nation on the earth.
Every nation on the planet tries to send its best students to the USA colleges to learn.

If we were doing so bad, why are all the above happening? How about reading FACTS rather than watching political movies?

Brandy

March 30th, 2012
4:49 pm

@Old Physics Teacher, Thank you, I couldn’t have said it any better. Of course, EduKtr and his or her ilk won’t listen. Thankfully, people (read: parents) are actually starting to wake up and realize that charter schools are not the goose that laid the golden egg–check out what is going on in Florida.

Mary Elizabeth

March 30th, 2012
4:54 pm

The following is from the first link of Ms. Downey’s post of today, which links to her March 13th post:

“I don’t dispute that there are some unhappy Cherokee parents who want more charter school options or who send their children to private schools, including some influential lawmakers. But, by any objective measure, Cherokee schools are performing well.

In its campaign to revamp the school board, the Cherokee delegation won the help of the full House yesterday, which passed House Bill 1223.

Sponsored by Reps. Mark Hamilton, Charlice Byrd, Calvin Hill and Sean Jerguson, the bill is a second attempt by Cherokee lawmakers to reconfigure the school board to their liking; their first effort, a far more blatant power play, was rebuked by the national accreditation agency.”

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It should be pointed out that a sponsor of HR 1223, Rep. Calvin Hill, is one of the Georgia state chairmen of ALEC. See link below:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_State_Chairmen

======================================================

And, the below paragraph is from page 19 of Common Cause’s document of ALEC’s influence within Minnesota’s legislation. Page 19 describes some of the educational agenda of ALEC. See below:

“Education
HF 0950/SF 0570 (2011): Parental Rights

This legislation would urge the U.S. Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This constitutional amendment ‘attempts to dress up the effort to privatize the American tradition of public education as a parental right, creating a political wedge issue while also elevating [public school] privatization efforts to ‘constitutional’ status,which can then be used as a weapon to strike down any statute that is purported to infringe on the rights granted by this vague amendment.’ 14″

http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/78448237?access_key=key-a6hdjq8v38luteku97w

===========================================

I believe that the heavy-handed charter school emphasis in Georgia is, in part, an attempt to dismantle public education. Those who may not go along with this ideological agenda may suffer the consequences, perhaps?

================================================

One would hope that our legislators would function through wisdom and not through political gain and expediency, but it appears that valuing wisdom is not a high priority among many of Georgia’s legislators.

Ms. Downey’s words from her post above:

“I think the lesson here is that politicians of any party will violate their own foundational beliefs to make a point and punish an adversary. (I think in school it is called bullying.)”

==========================================

Until Georgia’s legislators value wisdom as well as the common public interest through traditional public education and fund it adequately, the people of Georgia will be short-changed, even if they do not realize it. According to the wise former U.S. Representative Buddy Darden, on “Georgia’s Lawmakers” on PBS TV last evening, Georgia’s public education has decreased by 4 billion dollars in the last decade.

Sandy Springs Parent

March 30th, 2012
4:58 pm

Didn’t Cherokee County vote in Chip, who can’t pay for his roach motel? isn’t he the guy behind all of this trouble at that Captial. Wise up Cherokee County, stop drinking your Vodka out of paper bags from your pantry or red plastic cups. Your the ones that voted this bank fraud specialist Chip Rogers in to office!!!

APS High School Mom

March 30th, 2012
4:59 pm

@Old Physics Teacher, I enjoyed your post. Do you think you can use your creative writing skills to weave in a reference to Eraserhead to give APS a glowing nod?!

On a serious note, having gone through the APS mess, I am not in favor of special bills created only to address a particular issue. That kind of process generally sets bad precedent. But, since SACS is against this legislation, I’m going to have to think twice since I have no regard for that organization (have they noticed that the ABE is back to a 5/4 vote; changed leadership; that 14 of the 40 worst public schools in GA are in APS, including 9 high schools of which they accredited; that APS is in the budget hole to the tune of $60,000,000; that soon they’ll have to pick a new superintendent…..oh but then SACS won’t care this time in APS since the Metro Chamber supports the new 5 along with their parent bully mob the StepUp wives.)

Jane W.

March 30th, 2012
5:08 pm

@Old Physics Teacher — Your union bonus check is in the mail. And did you ever really teach physics? Just wondering …

yes i am worried

March 30th, 2012
5:09 pm

Is someone running against Chip this year? I hope so.

Don H

March 30th, 2012
5:13 pm

I’ve watched WAITING FOR SUPERMAN and understand why union types don’t want this fascinating film to be widely viewed. How is it that the nation which invented minimal government and which landed men on the moon — can’t get K-12 education right?

No teachers union in Georgia? The National Education Association thinks otherwise: http://www.nea.org/home/18469.htm

Former Middle School Teacher

March 30th, 2012
5:14 pm

Why is there so much hate for unions (which are prohibited by the Ga. state constitution), but so little for the ruling classes who won’t meter their own behavior but love to tell us how to live ours? Some of you need to change the channel from Faux News every know and then and realize your heroes Hannity and Limbaugh are entertainers.

Cherokee mom

March 30th, 2012
5:23 pm

Yes, I am ashamed to admit I did vote for Chip Rogers in the past. I think a lot of eyes have been opened in Cherokee County this year regarding Mr. Rogers. The problem is we have no one who will run against him. Help!

rgoodden

March 30th, 2012
5:30 pm

Cobb teachers paying dues to the union-affiliated Cobb County Association of Educators rightfully wonder how much of their dues money is being squandered by union bosses in places like Wisconsin — where a union-funded campaign has gathered signatures to unseat the state’s fiscally prudent Republican governor.

Indications are the “citizen recall petitions” there include multiple signatures by the same persons and even “Mickey Mouse.” Lawyers of course stand ready to insist Mickey and friends are counted.

In teachers’ lounges across Georgia, meanwhile, union reps play down the 90 percent of union campaign cash going to Democrats — while at the same time claiming to want the parent groups (Georgia Association of Educators and National Education Association) to better reflect Georgia teachers’ actual political preferences.

In the months of August and September Georgia teachers are “allowed” to opt out of funding this charade by switching to non-partisan (and therefore far cheaper) teachers’ groups.

Call it Mickey’s revenge.

Formerteacher

March 30th, 2012
5:46 pm

Forget the charter school hoopla-that was just the match thrown on very dry wood. Why don’t we talk about the incredibly un-American way in which 2 school board members are being removed with the LOCAL voters doing the removing. As has been pointed out time and again, there was absolutely no reason for the legislative delegation to redraw the map submitted by the BOE. Nor was there any reason to tamper with the format of the elections. I personally believe that at-large is the most fair way to elect these officials so they are accountable to every citizen in Cherokee County. If we go to by post elections, as seems to be the case with HB 978, we’ll start to see in-fighting and “only if it’s good for my post” behavior. I don’t care how much they say otherwise, the board members will only feel themselves accountable to those that vote for them.

And I can proudly say that I have never voted for Chip Rogers or Charlice Byrd. I have simple not voted in those races when they have been uncontested (which has been most of the time). The utter contempt with which our delegation has treated their constituents is appalling. I now fully understand the phrase “yellow dog Democrat.” I’ll vote for anyone who is NOT Chip Rogers or Charlice Byrd- even that yellow dog.

cantweet2012

March 30th, 2012
6:17 pm

Well said Formerteacher! While the charter school matter is a concern, it is one of many Trojan Horses while the Cherokee Delegation and many others in the State Legislature move to limit the liberties of ordinary people in favor of special interests and those with fat wallets. I fear that unless the trend is reversed, all will be lost.

EduKtr

March 30th, 2012
6:53 pm

@ Mary Elizabeth, your union is calling and they insist you make it less embarrassingly obvious you’re astroturfing for them. They expect more effort for the money they’re paying you!

Ron F.

March 30th, 2012
7:48 pm

“… I might add that the National Education Association and GAE have much money invested in keeping Democrats in power and thereby stifling education reform.”

Wow, look at what their money got them. A republican legislature, senate, AND governor. Yeah, that liberal money sure does fly around Georgia, doesn’t it?

In case you haven’t noticed, what with all your study of the government-approved charter model, teachers in this state largely voted republican in every election since good-old-boy Sonny swooped into the Governor’s mansion. Regardless of professional organization, they voted for the folks who are running the system in the ground right now. Funny how those liberal-loving unions work, isn’t it?

Ron F.

March 30th, 2012
8:01 pm

If Cherokee schools were in the miserable state that APS or Clayton Co. have been in, I might believe there were altruistic motives behind this legislative bruhaha. As it is, the glaringly obvious fact of political payback is easy to see…unless you believe that the legislature is purely concerned with education improvement, in which case you have totally checked out of reality. We hope you enjoyed your stay with us, bye-bye!!!

Mikey D

March 30th, 2012
8:07 pm

@EduKtr
Do you have anything of value to add to any discussion, or do you just enjoy acting like an adolescent?

Jane W.

March 30th, 2012
8:14 pm

@ Mikey D. — Add facts or refute others’ arguments … but don’t just call names.

Joke on us

March 30th, 2012
8:35 pm

wow; did not realize so many really did not understand the end games going on here

its not so much charter schools: its the endgame of vouchers

if vouchers are put in place; the racist will get their way to resegregation;

why did GA go down a path of setting up its own “math” (and what i mean by own–no other SEC state has the math course we teach) to tip the scales before 2014 when we have to have a 100% graduation rate.

and @Old P T

the statement you made about college grads I believe was incorrect China has 3 times the number of colleges graduates we have; BUT they have 3 times the population

I was in a meeting the other day and believe that was the data we where given; so even those stats are tainted; HOWEVER, you are correct in the fact they want to come to OUR colleges to learn cutting edge tech

Ron F.

March 30th, 2012
8:36 pm

@ Mikey D. — Add facts or refute others’ arguments … but don’t just call names.

from Jane W:
“@Old Physics Teacher — Your union bonus check is in the mail”

Now that was intelligent contribution to the discussion. Pot calling the kettle black perhaps? It’s a blog. People get snippy, the discussion goes on. Goodness knows, if we resort to calling each other out for it, there’s not much point in the discussion is there?

DaPoet

March 30th, 2012
9:05 pm

Re: I think the lesson here is that politicians of any party will violate their own foundational beliefs to make a point and punish an adversary. (I think in school it is called bullying.)
_________________________

Actions always speak louder then words and to think that these same willfully dishonorable politicians call themselves Christians…so much for religion being a moral guidepost.

Mikey D

March 30th, 2012
9:27 pm

@Jane W.
Fact – There are no teachers unions in Georgia.

Grammar Police

March 30th, 2012
9:55 pm

Cherokee County isn’t as great as everyone says. Yes, they have excellent test scores because they have kids of affluent parents. But some parents obviously want OUT of the system and the local BOE doesn’t want to let go of the reins (or at least the money). It is very common to see local BOEs protecting their turf by not approving charter chools.

Jane W.

March 30th, 2012
10:47 pm

@ Mikey D: On their own website the National Education Association says you’re wrong about there being no teachers’ unions in Georgia. ( http://www.nea.org/home/18469.htm )

And all GAE members automatically pay $130+ yearly to belong to the NEA. It’s not an option.

Flock of Schoolgirls

March 30th, 2012
11:18 pm

@jane w

Wrong about the teachers unions. There is a teachers ASSOCIATION in Georgia but not a union. Georgia law prohibits the teachers association from collective bargaining and striking, the two major activities that unions are defined by. The main role of the teachers association in Georgia and the function of their dues is, in part, to advocate (lobby) for the teachers. It’s pretty clear that they are not too successful at this given the massive funding cuts year after year. If there really was an active UNION in Georgia don’t you think they would have considered striking against the abusive class sizes or bargained their way out of increased furlough days? Teachers are given a contract and told to take it or leave it. There are definately NO teachers unions in Georgia.

jazzyedu

March 30th, 2012
11:34 pm

1. The charter school proposal was turned down because it was a for profit company wanting CCSD to pay for its real estate and satisfactory modifications to the proposal were not done in a timely manner.
2. Chip Rogers, Sean Jergusen, Charlyce Byrd and Calvin Hill are all attempting to fund private education using vouchers and charter schools. Saying that the money for these will not affect the local school board’s budget is ridiculous when the money has to come from somewhere in the state budget, so someone has to loose funding.
3. I can choose to be part of GAE or not. In other states you HAVE to join a union to get a job.
4. It is ridiculously obvious that the above politicians have chosen to use their corrupt power to change things that don’t need changing, such as the school board reorganization, to suit their needs. Do you know that they do not have children in our public schools? Chip constantly tells us how his mother was an educator. Well she couldn’t have been a very good one if she is in favor of the demise of the public school system in GA.
5. The rural counties of GA have no idea what their reps just voted for. Some of them can barely afford to keep their schools open and staffed. Now they have to worry about someone starting a charter school somewhere else and less money being available for local districts, taking money and enrollment away from the public system. A system that can NOT turn away any child, rich, poor, special ed or gifted, and must, according to law, provide them with an education.
I am an educator. I am really worried about the future of this state. Thank goodness my children will both be in college next year.

Scooby

March 30th, 2012
11:47 pm

There are nor teacher unions in the GA. Real unions have negotiated contracts/collective bargaining agrements (CBAs). Ga has a teachers association, which has no power to affect workplace rules, salaries, benefits, etc..

Associations are fake unions that takes peoples money with the perception that they represent them with authority. Couldn’t be farther from the truth………………..

bootney farnsworth

March 31st, 2012
12:06 am

about six weeks ago I made the decision to call it a career. time for something- anything – else.

to remain in education at this point in time is self abuse. it may take me awhile to get out in this economy, but once this years over, at my first opportunity

I’m gone.

I love being an educator, playing a part in turning people’s lives around. but it doesn’t love me back. or even like me. or even be indifferent to my existance.

it hit me the other day, we’re like those stupid battered wives so
common on Lifetime movies. we tolerate the abuse and the assualts for the sake of the kids.

not any longer.

Beverly Fraud

March 31st, 2012
5:10 am

Just how “super” is Superman in the presence of kryptonite?

Not very, as I recall.

Want teachers to be “Superman”?

REMOVE THE KRYPTONITE!

Remove the CHRONICALLY and SEVERELY disruptive students to environments best suitable for their needs and LET TEACHERS TEACH!

What are the teachers bashers “waiting” for?

TeacherMom4

March 31st, 2012
8:39 am

Excellent analogy Bootney.

Jane W.

March 31st, 2012
9:22 am

@ Scooby: So you and fellow GAE members are PAYING for a union, but not getting one? Then what do you imagine the NEA union bosses are doing with your $130+ in yearly NEA dues? ref: http://www.nea.org/home/18469.htm

And do you personally agree with their endorsement and funding of Obama (and Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Mondale etc. before him)?

Tony

March 31st, 2012
9:49 am

There is no doubt that this legislation was motivated because of greed and power. It is unfortunate that our legislature is allowing a couple of representatives to undermine the local board of education in Cherokee County where good work has been done for students for many years.

Yes. There were legitimate concerns regarding the charter school application that was rejected by that board of education and they did their jobs. Now there schools will pay the price because these mean-spirited men want to have their way.

Charter schools can provide some good opportunities for students, but too many people have bought the idea that things like competition and choice are the best things. Student learning is the best thing about schools. There is not one shred of evidence that charter schools have outperformed public schools. So, it is astounding that so many people have ignored that evidence and continue to push for charters as a panacea for what ails education in our state and nation.

The charter school in Cherokee (and the one in Coweta) are mediocre schools using mediocre educational strategies. They are managed by a for-profit corporation. Our governor showed favoritism to these special charter schools this year by providing additional state funding to them. This came at the expense of all the other public schools in our state. Now the move is afoot to codify this special funding stream through the ballot initiative this fall.

Public schools are being starved of necessary resources by our politicians while their ineffective pet projects, charter schools, are rewarded for their mediocrity.

Tony

March 31st, 2012
9:56 am

Since some people have chosen to vilify unions because they fund democratic candidates, I think it’s appropriate to remind why that is done.

Unions generally represent working people who as individuals have very little clout. When unions are able to provide a collective voice, raise legitimate concerns, and fund lobbyists and campaigns, they are giving those individuals a voice.

In our day, the ones with the voices that influence legislation and elections are the ones with boatloads of money. They heavily fund their special interests and support candidates who will support their ideas. So, is it better for everyone to remove the voice of the individuals represented by the unions? Will we be better off by limiting influence to the extremely wealthy individuals who are already controlling many of the decisions? I think not.

Eduktr

March 31st, 2012
10:21 am

@ Tony: But it’s apparent to any teacher that not all teachers are Democrats. Nationally, about 40% are in fact Republican; the figure is even higher in Georgia.

And yet, the NEA has endorsed every Democrat nominee for president in our lifetimes. And GAE likewise endorses only Democrats for governor. Is such joined-at-the-hip Democrat partisanship wise? And what influence does that leave us with in a majority Republican state?

Tony

March 31st, 2012
11:07 am

@Eduktr – many teachers are now realizing the consequences of their votes in recent years. From my point of view, neither republicans nor democrats are representing the needs of public education very well. There is a very real and organized effort by ALEC and extremely wealthy individuals to paint all unions as bad and evil because they give lots of money to certain candidates. They do this at the same time as the extremely wealthy are giving lots of money to their candidates. Their effort is to silence the workers’ voices by enacting legislation that adversely affects unions’ ability to raise money. Is this truly democracy? It sounds more of a plutocracy to me.

EduKtr

March 31st, 2012
12:13 pm

@ Tony: “Silence workers’ voices?” That’s far-left nonsense that even modern Greeks in the streets of Athens must be weary of hearing from class warfare die-hards. But at union headquarters I guess you can still hear it.

Active in Cherokee

March 31st, 2012
12:30 pm

I sincerely hope there is someone on the ballot running against Chip Rogers and some of his ‘buddies’ in the November election. I also hope to fellow people of Cherokee Co. are finally fed up with his tactics and will do the right thing in voting him out of power. Unfotunately, too often he has ran unopposed. Like many other career politicians, the power has gone gone to his head. Once upon a time he was a good citizen who cared about all of Cherokee Co. and was the right person to represent the will of the people, that has time obviously passed.

Tony

March 31st, 2012
2:22 pm

Nonsense? Have you read the legislation that is being passed in state houses across the nation that attempts to limit the speech of workers? Georgia had its own version this year that even Tea Partiers spoke against. Is that far-left nonsense?

crankee-yankee

March 31st, 2012
4:15 pm

@Jane W
You do not seem to have ever worked where a union was present. I am a member of the NEA, and am proud to say it. In spite of the fact that this state’s power structure is so petrified of an educated populace that they have outlawed collective bargaining, I have chosen to make GA my home. Collective bargaining, or whatever you fear about them, is only part of what an organization such as the NEA offers its members.
They protect me from lawsuits (spurious & otherwise) with legal representation, even if I am found guilty, they foot the bill. PAGE only pays if you win. That is worth every penny of my dues in and of itself.
They lobby at the statehouse where the more enlightened representatives recognize them as purveyors of well researched data that helps them with educational decision-making,
They keep me appraised of national educational trends & I have no problem with them using my dues in fighting for educators in Wisconsin. I look at the big picture and see where poor legislation elsewhere can hurt me in the long run.
Most of the “ME” generation do not know of the abuses unions grew from and assume as long as they get their’s, everything is good. I hope they do not find themselves in a situation someday where they need someone who has their back. The current legislature surely does not.
I do not always agree with all the positions they take and who they support for office but I do not view that as a problem.
You see, I think for myself, find out what the true issues are, research BOTH sides of the arguments, and vote accordingly.
And yes, I did support their position for the last four presidential candidates, but not Mondale. I vote for whomsoever I believe is the best man or woman for the job. I realize that concept is foreign to party-line voters but understand they do not want to go through the messy processing of actually thinking, they just want someone to tell them what to do, be it their minister, spouse, radio blowhard or blogster.

crankee-yankee

March 31st, 2012
6:10 pm

@Tony
Remember “Todd’s Principles of Politics.”

1) Whatever they are telling you, it is not the whole truth.

2) Whatever they are talking about, they are talking about money.

Jane W.

March 31st, 2012
6:31 pm

@crankee-yankee (in your various guises): But what it’s all about now is mutual back-scratching, right? The fat-cat union bosses pump $$$ into the campaign coffers of the Democrat Party—which in turn stifles education reform and preserves the revenues of the unions. And therefore the fat salaries of union bosses.

Parents, their children, and society all pay a heavy price—right along with the taxpayers.

crankee-yankee

March 31st, 2012
8:12 pm

@Jane W.
various guises? Have the courage to speak plainly.
And a casino magnate pumping millions into a Republican campaign differs how?
Fire needs to be fought with fire.
And I scratch no one’s back but my spouse’s.

Tony

March 31st, 2012
8:30 pm

@jane w. I must agree with crankee-yankee. To claim on one hand it is wrong for unions to pump money into a campaign and give tacit approval to the fat-cat multi-millionaires pumping money into the various campaigns is rather disingenuous, don’t you think? And why are the “fat salaries of union bosses” worse than any other fat salary?