Teacher unions and their Democrat Protectors

Taxpayers in Michigan are paying for half the salary of union workers working on behalf of the union.

Maryanne Levine is a full-time elementary school teacher with the Chippewa Valley School District who was elected to the Michigan Education Association board of directors. The district releases her from teaching responsibilities so that she can deal 100 percent with union issues. But Chippewa Valley still pays for $103,807of Levine’s $145,117 total compensation. The union pays the remaining $41,310.
Larry Schulte, another of the district’s full-time elementary teachers, is allowed to spend half of his time involved in union business. Chippewa Valley pays $104,480 of his $125,135 total compensation. The union pays the remaining $20,655.
Statewide, there are 39 school districts that paid teachers to work at least half their time on union activities, with 25 of those districts paying for full release time. These 39 districts combined to pay at least $2.7 million to cover the costs of teachers who work on union business. Two weeks ago, the MEA sent a survey to its membership that included a request to seek approval to initiate a “work stoppage.” Teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan.
Michigan Capitol Confidential sent a Freedom of Information Act request for the details of the arrangements between school districts and their local union officials.
Taylor School District pays Jeffrey Woodford $96,419 in total compensation and allows him to spend 75 percent of his time on union business. The other 25 percent of the time he teaches at Truman High School. Linda Moore is a middle school science teacher in Taylor with $88,016 in total compensation, and she is allowed to spend 50 percent of her time on union business. . . .

Meanwhile Democrats are fighting to limit the number of poor and middle class children who can attend private school, even though the cost of the vouchers are less than the expenditures on public schools. From John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary.

One of the longest walkouts by state legislators in the nation's history ended last night when Indiana House Democrats abandoned their safe house in Illinois and returned to work after a five-week absence.

Both sides spun the development in their favor. Republicans insisted the Democrats were forced to come back as fines against them piled up and voters became impatient with a legislature that was paralyzed. With the absence of a two-thirds quorum, the House couldn't move on any bills.

But Democrats also had some bragging rights. They said that they had left their desks in the legislature in order to wrest concessions from the GOP on a right-to-work law for private-sector workers and a bill expanding school choice.

The Democratic "fleabaggers" made tangible gains in a liberal direction. The right-to-work bill is dead for this year, despite having majority support in both houses. A bill that would have allowed private companies to take over failing public schools was also shelved. A pet project of GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels to create a voucher program for low- and middle-income students has been significantly scaled back to helping only 7,500 kids in the first year and 15,000 in the second year. . . .



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