Diary

ANOTHER UNION BAILOUT?: "Keep Our Educators Working Act" gives billions to teachers unions

Another $23 billion union bailout. What else is new?

Neal Boortz often calls the teachers unions the strongest force destroying our state and local governments. I’ve lived in New York, and teacher retirements in their 50s with tax-free pensions are nothing new to me. It’s outrageous.

What state and local governments should be doing is reversing the clock on these gold-plated retirements. Only Chris Christie is fighting the good fight. The trillion-dollar “stimulus” was a gift to unions that made matters worse, and this is another gift.

From Business Insider:

Here’s Another $23 Billion Bailout That You May Have Missed This Week
Joe Weisenthal | May. 15, 2010, 7:53 AM
It didn’t get much attention, but this week The White House announced its support for a bailout of one of the President’s most important constituent groups: public school teachers (teachers unions, basically).

A post on The White House blog (via ABC News) late Wednesday evening announced that it was time for “bold action” to save teachers’ jobs.

Specifically, Arne Duncan, Obama’s education secretary wrote the following to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid:

We applaud Chairmen Harkin, Miller and Obey for crafting legislation in direct response to these challenges. S. 3206, the Keep Our Educators Working Act, H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act, and H.R. 4812, the Local Jobs for America Act, each call for $23 billion in emergency support to preserve education jobs modeled after the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This funding would keep teachers in the classroom while helping to sustain meaningful and necessary reforms in public education across the country.

We urge Congress to include this funding in the supplemental appropriations bills soon to be considered. We also urge Congress to include $2 billion in support to localities for police and firefighters to ensure that our communities remain safe, as well as $1 billion in funds for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to preserve early childhood education jobs and ensure that our youngest children do not lose the supports and services critical to their learning and overall well-being.

The Huffington Post loves the bailout:

Kati Haycock
Posted: May 11, 2010 12:20 PM
The $23B “Keep Our Educators Working Act” Is No Education Jobs Fund

At the New York Post, Raymond J. Keating wrote that New Yorkers should have a school-budget revolt:

A NY school-budget revolt?
Posted: 11:46 PM, May 11, 2010
New Jerseyans voted down a record number of public-school-district budgets last month. New Yorkers will have a chance to do the same on May 18 — and should.

According to state Education Department data, New York’s biggest statewide rejection of school budgets in the last four decades was just 34 percent in 1978. On the other hand, the 58 percent rejection rate that Jersey logged last month was its largest in 35 years.

I posted this from Keating’s past New York Post article here on April 11th, but it’s worth re-posting:

NY school spending doesn’t add up
Why it’s out of control
By Raymond J. Keating
Posted: 2:36 AM, April 11, 2010
During the state budget crisis, lawmakers moan that there’s simply nothing that can be cut. Yet during the fat times, the budget increased at rates far greater than inflation. Begging the question — why does it cost so much more to run New York than it did 10 years ago?

Let’s take just one category, spending on public schools, where the numbers are staggering — and, from a taxpayer’s perspective, deeply distressing.
(…)
Total per-pupil public school spending hit $19,350 in 2008-09, up from $10,356 in 1998-99. Unsurprisingly, New York’s spending is the most lavish compared to the other states. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, no other state spent more than New York, which exceeded the US average by 66%.
(…)
New York, by the way, had the second-highest average public school teacher salary among the states in 2008-09, at $64,336 — which exceeds the US average by 21%.

States need the Christie tough love, not a wasteful federal bailout. For example, what good is bailing out Greece if everyone gets four week annual vacations and retires at age 53? Without fundamental reforms, why bail anyone out?

Why bail anyone out, ever?

Silly Obama question, I know.

Michele Bachmann (All About the Bailouts…Foreign and Domestic, May 10th), where are you?