Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why New Hampshire Does Not Need An Income Tax Again.

The following piece appears at If New Hampshire gets an income tax it will tax away what little local control of our education tax dollars we have as taxpayers. The below piece eloquently points out the problems with strong teachers unions.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Teacher's union won't cooperate

Re Jo Rein's March 20 Community View ("A call for compromise on Mamaroneck school budget"): I agree with everything except asking the teachers' union for voluntary concessions. The chance of getting any meaningful concessions from any New York teachers' unions are zero, simply because they don't have to.

The writer asks, please, for concessions. Where have you ever heard the organization paying out money, allowing the recipient to dictate terms?

The 600,000-member teachers unions in New York are the most powerful special interest group in Albany - in 2008 they were the No. 1 spender in lobbying money, and among the top three in contributions to political candidates. Last year the union beat back attempts by the Assembly to pass laws allowing the firing of incompetent teachers (based on test scores), and capping annual increases in property taxes.

Our teachers are well paid, have gold-plated health and retirement benefits, up to 16 weeks off per year, and virtually 100 percent job security. I'd guess of their 600,000 members, as close to zero percent as mathematically possible were fired for incompetence.

You have to distinguish between the teachers with whom you interact all year, and their union. One has the best interests of our children at heart, the other has only one interest, and that is power.

So avoid any attempts at meaningful discussions with the union and concentrate on what we can control - elimination of courses and services. There is always the problem of unfunded state mandates - I wonder what group is lobbying for that.

Joe Gorman


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