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Union greed shortchanges quality LA education

Louisiana gets another reminder today about how teachers’ unions in this state exist only to fatten the wallets of their members at the expense of trying to educate students.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers decided today would be a good day to ask its members to flee the classroom in favor of a political rally to urge support of pay raises. Enough responded so that several school systems will have to cancel classes today, leaving about 120,000 students in the lurch, and others will struggle to operate with a plethora of substitutes

Of course, this could have been done in June – the legislature will be in session well after the end of the school year and the appropriations bills that would contain language authorizing the salary increases won’t be finished until the very end. But that would miss the point: like petulant, spoiled children, they intentionally want to disrupt schooling in the state because they don’t really care about teaching but they are greedy enough to shirk their responsibilities in favor of making the biggest political statement possible.

State Superintendent Paul Pastorak obliquely noted this in his condemnation of their actions. LFT President Steve “Dissettled” Monaghan dryly replied, “There are much worse things that have debilitated and harmed education in Louisiana other than folks exercising their rights as citizens.” True enough, and the LFT can look in the mirror to find the biggest cause of harm to education in the state, such as its steadfast opposition to improving quality through regular testing of teachers to determine their competence.

Monaghan also gave another clue to the organization’s agenda when he opined that a projected $2,375 raise to reach the Southern Regional Education Board average wasn’t enough. “We do ourselves a disservice to continue to point to the (regional average) as some sort of holy grail … [this request should be a] down payment on moving Louisiana toward favorable national comparisons.” This ignores the fact that the cost of living in Louisiana is among the lowest in the nation so this represents a transparent attempt to squeeze even more money out of taxpayers even though Louisiana teachers as a whole underperform for the salaries they get now.

At least the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana had enough class and sense to refrain from such behavior and thereby demonstrate they put some emphasis on education. But with the shenanigans of the LFT to remind us, is there any wonder public education in Louisiana drags the rear with antics like theirs?

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