In the name of fairness and equity, Oregon’s largest teachers’ union is considering a dues schedule that actively discriminates on the basis of race.
On April 30, OEA’s board of directors discussed a so-called “progressive dues structure for BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) members,” according to meeting minutes. This scheme would include a “significant discount for educators until the racial breakdown of our membership aligns with the racial breakdown of our student population.”
There are a number of problems with the plan, not the least of which is the U.S. Constitution, whose Equal Protection Clause was adopted to specifically to ban such preferential treatment. There are also federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which both prohibit compensation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
Likewise, the laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EECO) prevent employers from paying employees differently based on race, color, religion, or sex.
Despite these protections, the proposed policy was approved for further consideration by the union.
Teachers’ unions across the country have been more and more assertive every year about pushing a radical racial ideology. Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association recently claimed, “For us at the NEA, education justice must be about racial justice, it must be about social justice, it must be about climate justice.”
Elsewhere, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Minneapolis Public Schools reached an agreement for the 2021-2023 school year that includes a provision titled, “Protections for Educators of Color” requiring the district to fire white teachers before their minority counterparts.
Similar discriminatory hiring practices are in place between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association (SEA), which prioritizes the hiring, supporting, and retaining of “educators of color.”
Even for layoffs, the district is implementing a discriminatory policy by requiring the district to “retain a workforce that includes racial, gender, linguistic and equity-literate educators,” according to the contract.
Other school districts are also under legal fire for engaging in anti-white racial discrimination.
Parents Defending Education (PDE), a group focused on parental rights in education, filed three complaints in 2023 to the Department of Education’s (DOE) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) against Portland (Maine) Public Schools, Shelburne (Vermont) Community School, and Ashland (Ore.) School District for their alleged creation and use of “affinity groups” or “community circles,” which separated the students on the basis of race.
In Colorado, PDE filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Jeffco Public Schools for discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, violating both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The JeffCo District and Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) agreed to a bargaining agreement last fall that contains undeniably discriminatory anti-white initiatives, offering special programs and professional advancement opportunities only to people of color.
The Portland Public School created a “BIPOC Community Circle” for all “Black, Indigenous, Asian, Middle-Eastern, Latinx and mixed race staff members,” in order to “provide career pathways support and emotional support and advocacy,” allegedly providing resources such as an article on “Why People of Color Need Spaces without White People.”
The president of PDE told the Daily Caller News:
We believe that this is not only immoral, but this is also unconstitutional because what these school districts are doing with federal funding is they are treating students differently on the basis on race, which is prohibited both by Title VI, as well as by the fourteenth amendment.
It is only a matter of time before civil rights complaints are filed against the Oregon teachers’ union for their blatantly discriminatory initiatives.
The teachers’ union’s hyperfocus on race is infiltrating classrooms from coast to coast, causing major distractions to our educators, preventing them from actually teaching our youth.
Teachers must recognize their dues are being used to force racist hiring policies and parents should be aware of the flagrantly discriminatory initiatives being promulgated in their children’s classroom.
Juliana Rubio is a communications strategist and spokesperson at the Freedom Foundation.