(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Gov. Christie told a Columbia, SC crowd real education reform is impossible as long as teachers unions remain a powerful force for the status quo. Gov. Christie is dead on target. Since the legalization of teacher’s unions under Jimmy Carter in 1978, American education and scores have plummeted while costs have skyrocketed. Clearly, the number one goal of teacher’s unions has become political power received at the hand of the Democratic Party, and member benefits, while educating America’s children has rock bottom priority).
By Nancy Smith Sunshine State News
Whatever other problems conservatives have with Chris Christie, they have to like his style on teachers unions.
The New Jersey Republican governor doesn’t just blast them now, while it’s convenient, while he’s running for president and looking for love, he’s made a career of lambasting teachers unions for destroying public education in the U.S. and buying lawmakers to protect their interests.
Speaking in Columbia, S.C., Saturday in a Jack Kemp Foundation panel discussion, Christie seemed grateful for an opportunity “to get it all out — you won’t hear any PC bull on this from me.”
He called the labor groups an “absolute subsidiary of the Democratic Party.”
As reported on The Blaze website, Christie told the crowd real education reform is impossible as long as teachers unions remain a powerful force for the status quo.
In New Jersey, where unions are and always have been among the most powerful in the country, the teachers union has 200,000 members. “And they collect mandatory dues of $730 per person per year,” he said. “That’s $140 million that the teachers union just in New Jersey collects a year, and they pay nothing toward teacher salary, teacher pension or teachers’ healthcare.
“It’s a $140 million political slush fund to be able to reward their friends and punish their enemies. … Now imagine that kind of force and it’s replicated in state after state after state in this country.”
Christie touted his own work with New Jersey’s education system since he has been governor — including reforming teachers’ tenure and school choice. With these reforms, he said, New Jersey residents were happy, but the teachers unions “felt threatened” and gave $20 million to state lawmakers to prevent further reforms during Christie’s second term.
“Right now the teachers union is absolutely a subsidiary of the Democratic Party, and we’ve seen it already. Before their primary even cast one vote, they’ve already endorsed Hillary Clinton. You know what that means — that she is bought and paid for just like my legislature is bought and paid for and no changes will be made,” Christie said.
The Republican presidential candidate said schoolchildren “have no shot” with teachers unions in place.
My hat’s off to Christie on this one. I’ve often wondered, as Steve Jobs always did, what kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in, they couldn’t get rid of people they thought weren’t any good? Lifetime employment of K-12 teachers? How absurd is that? But it’s a major part of what teachers unions stand for.
In December, thanks to a report by The Seventy Four, we discovered how good life is if you’re a union boss. The report revealed that the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and United Federation of Teachers spent almost $6 million in dues money on luxury hotels, overseas travel, and car services from 2011 to 2014. Quoting from the report:
“Between 2011 and 2014, the country’s largest teachers unions spent more than $5.7 million booking rooms at the world’s poshest hotels and resorts, scoring flights to exotic overseas destinations and traveling back and forth in limos — luxury expenses paid in full by member dues.
“Financial documents filed with the U.S. Labor Department … show a penchant for five-star business expenses that are far removed from the $56,000-a-year average teacher’s salary in the U.S. (Labor unions are only required to report expenses above $5,000, according to the department.)”
This is nothing new, but no less striking. Still, NEA officials spent more than 2.2 million on luxurious stays in Las Vegas, Miami, and San Diego dating back to 2011. The AFT dished out over $1.3 million on luxury hotels, as well as “an eye-popping $59,368 on car services.” (The American Federation of Teachers spent nearly $120,000 on a single limousine company just a few years back.)
Let’s just say Gov. Christie couldn’t be more on target.
Taking it to the teachers union in one of their strongholds … Christie has some backbone. He may not win the Republican primary, but he certainly deserves our thanks.