Saturday, October 10, 2015

37.6 Million Dollars, How the AFT Spends Your Hard Earned Dollars

Trust me it is not for the children!
The following piece appears in full on Watch Dog. org.

American Federation of Teachers union spends $37 million on politics

By   /   October 6, 2015  /

The 2015 American Federation of Teachers annual report shows a left-wing political machine humming on all cylinders — with teachers buying the gas.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, the union reported $37.6 million in political activity and lobbying expenditures, a $12.7 million increase from the previous year.

Even more political spending was tucked away elsewhere in AFT’s annual U.S. Department of Labor filing, reported as “Contributions, Gifts and Grants,” “General Overhead” or “Representational Activities.”

AFT paid union president Randi Weingarten, one of the nation’s most prominent “progressive” activists, a total of $497,118. The union reported only 2 percent of her time as political activity.
Other expenditures suggest AFT’s decision to endorse Weingarten’s friend Hillary Clinton for president — a move that angered many AFT members — had been made long before it was announced in July.

AFT donated $250,000 to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation in February, $125,000 to Clinton Global Initiative in April and another $125,000 to Clinton Global Initiative in May. In December, AFT paid Clinton-allied opposition research group American Bridge 21st Century $100,000.
The American Bridge payment was reported as a political expense. The payments to the scandal-ridden Clinton family nonprofits were not.

Clinton was the only presidential candidate whose affiliated nonprofits got money from AFT in 2015. But, as in previous years, AFT funded a long list of left-wing political action committees, activist groups and think tanks.

In many states, teachers can be required to pay AFT to have a job. Even though mandatory union fees can only legally be spent on representation, the power to take money from non-members frees AFT to spend more member dues on politics.

RELATED: Teacher unions push progressive agenda, but many members aren’t on board

AFT gave the Democratic Governors Association $1.5 million, gave Democratic super PAC Patriot Majority $450,000 and gave the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee $400,000 last year.
The union paid $410,000 to progressive coalition America Votes, $115,000 to MSNBC host Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, $90,000 to the environmentalist BlueGreen Alliance and $15,000 to illegal immigrant advocacy group National Council of La Raza.

Millions of dollars of AFT payments to other political groups weren’t reported as political spending, including $300,000 in donations to Economic Policy Institute and $160,000 to National Public Pension Coalition.

A total of $323,889 in “advocacy organization” expenditures AFT reported as general overhead included a $60,000 payment to leftist donor network Democracy Alliance.

State Innovation Exchange, a pro-union attempt to copy the pro-business American Legislative Exchange Council, received $60,000 from AFT last year; AFT reported only $30,000 as a political expense.

A $50,000 AFT donation to Center for American Progress Action Fund was reported as a political expense, while a separate $50,000 donation to Center for American Progress wasn’t.

The union spent millions more on membership recruitment drives throughout the country, with $7.7 million in payments to “organizing projects” reported to the Department of Labor as representation costs.
Hundreds of thousands of teachers are stuck paying AFT, regardless of whether they agree with the union’s spending and activism. Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, a case before the Supreme Court, could change that within the next year.

If the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs in the Friedrichs case, it could end mandatory union fees for all public-sector workers.

AFT may come to regret “doubling down on a highly controversial political agenda,” Gary Beckner, chairman and president of the Association of American Educators, told Watchdog.

“Teachers have had enough and are searching for affordable, professional alternatives” like AAE, Beckner said. “Teachers deserve an organization that supports the modern educator — without the politics.”

AFT’s Washington, D.C., headquarters did not respond to a request for comment on the spending disclosed in the union’s 2015 annual report.

Does your Child's Public School Teach About White Priviledge?


Oct 9, 2015 by Donna Garner Education Policy Commentator

Read more at Education


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Guns in Schools?

Spotted in the Social Networking world.

Crazy idea of the day. How bout we allow schools who wish to have armed security to have it and also at the same time allow schools who object to this to establish gun free zones. Now here's the really complicated part....let's allow the parents and or students to decide which school to attend.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Forum: School Choice in Croydon; Valley News

Forum: School Choice in Croydon; Don’t Publicize Shooters; A Putin Solution | Valley News

Rule of Law in Croydon

Dear Editor,

Much of what’s being said about the Croydon school choice situation seems to miss the fundamental point being raised by the Croydon School Board, which is simply this: If the law clearly
states that you can do something, but an employee of the state claims that you can’t, which do you follow, the law, or the employee? The Croydon School Board (along with the Croydon Selectboard) believes that you follow the law, and that’s what we’re doing. This is called “the
rule of law.”

The editors of Valley News Forum writer Tyler Pierce Harwell of New London, and many others who
have expressed opinions on the matter seem to believe that you should follow the employee. We don’t know what that’s called, but it’s not the rule of law.

Jody Underwood
Chair, Croydon School Board

‘Hit Piece’ Against Croydon

To the Editor:
The dignity of Croydon’s political process and the fate of our children demands that I respond to the hit piece in the Valley News (“Questionable Choice; Croydon’s Legal Fight on Tuition”). The
editorial was long on uninformed opinion, short on constructive dialogue. To characterize Croydon’s motives as “making a point” trivializes the plight of five children otherwise locked in an education
system incapable of meeting their needs. Not one board member, nor the majority of Croydon citizens who support school choice, does so for such petty reasons. Solving a problem (five problems, to be precise), as the editorial dismisses, is central to our decision to fight for parental rights. It is, in fact, more appropriate to ask why any adult believes the needs of these children should be subordinate to an inviolate education bureaucracy.

The editorial reprints some of the state’s arguments, yet ignores all of Croydon’s supportive legal opinion, choosing instead to quote attorney Chuck Douglas only on the occasion
that he veers into commentary. From this uneven treatment we are meant to accept that Croydon chooses not to abide by the rule of law. Nonsense. This is biased cherry-picking at its worst. When small minds dismiss your cause as “ideological” and “quixotic” (Scrabble win, Valley News!),
it’s usually a good sign; it means they have little of substance to counter your arguments. Claiming that a challenge to the state’s interpretation of law amounts to “undermining the foundation of
democracy” is hyperbolic rubbish. Peaceful challenges to government hegemony is the foundation of democracy. The author seems to recommend that we obediently roll over in the face of any challenge, no matter how absurd.

It’s not surprising to read opposition articles on such a hot-button topic. The complete lack of objectivity and disjointed logic is, however, disappointing for a subject of such import. Readers deserve better. I would love to ask the author what prompted him/her to write such a poorly researched, lopsided editorial. Not surprisingly, the author chose not to sign it.

Jim Peschke
Croydon School Board
Editor’s note: Valley News
editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper’s editorial board,
which includes the publisher, editor, editor-at-large and editorial page