An interesting post from the website “Intercepts: A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions,” entitled “NEA/CTA Outspends Everyone on California Ballot Measures” has added up the political spending by California’s teacher’s union in last week’s election.
For the nine initiative measures, the spending by California’s teacher’s unions was as follows:
California Teachers Association: $11.5 million
National Education Association: $2.2 million
California Federation of Teachers: $3.3 million
American Federation of Teachers: $2.1 million
Alliance for a Better California (a coalition of public employee unions, including teachers): $1.1 million.
As the article states, “all told, public employee unions spent $25.5 million on ballot initiatives alone.”
This hardly scratches the surface of how much money the public employee unions are spending on political activity. The teacher’s unions, for example, make it an absolute priority to control local school board elections. It is virtually impossible for an interested party who isn’t backed by the teacher’s union to get elected. Education reformers are targeted. It isn’t unusual for the teacher’s union to spend $100K or more on a local school board election campaign.
This article also neglects to consider the power of politicized teachers spreading their campaign message via the classroom, or the Parent/Teacher Associations. The cost to our electorate of a generation of children receiving union indoctrination in our public school classrooms is incalculable. During election season, students are given biased campaign-related material to take home with them – what’s that worth? Students are relentlessly trained to absorb the left-wing agenda of activist unionized public school teachers – what’s that worth?
A top-down estimate of public sector union political spending in California puts the figure at $250 million per year (ref. Public Sector Unions and Political Spending) – and this doesn’t include the in-kind value of controlling the message in our classrooms, or the brand equity and credibility of appearing on political campaign ads wearing nurses uniforms, or firefighter’s badges.