A guest column in today’s Fort Collins Coloradoan brings up an excellent point: why can’t we blame the state’s budget crisis on the ill-devised Amendment 23? Especially when we see where some of that taxpayer money is going…
Writer Paul Marrick explains the problem with his local Poudre School District:
Our school board, in its infinite wisdom, decided many years ago to pay the majority of the union president’s salary. That’s right, folks, we as taxpayers funded almost $60,000 of a $70,000 salary last year so the local union representative could, among other things, campaign for our newly elected state Sen. Bob Bacon. Mary Lynn Jones, Poudre Education Association president, spent a great deal of time working on a political campaign. Oh, and she also had the privilege of using district resources including the school district’s e-mail server to further her cause.
So my question to taxpayers: Did the school board and district administrators actively participate in funding a political action group with taxpayer funds?
Very poignant in light of recent electoral results for the Colorado State Legislature. (For those unaware, the Democrats just won both houses away from the GOP – Bob Bacon’s victory in Fort Collins was the margin of victory for the Senate.)
Mr. Marrick’s point about school boards paying for union business (often political) with taxpayer money is not isolated to Fort Collins. Perhaps the author read the Independence Institute Issue Paper Take Public Funds off the Negotiating Table: Let Teachers’ Unions Finance Their Own Business. (Disclosure: I researched and wrote the paper. A warning… it’s not meant to be read from cover to cover, unless you’re suffering from insomnia.)
Teachers’ unions get away with these sort of things because they individually seem like such small perks and privileges – hardly worth the average citizen getting upset about. But collectively, they add up to union clout in the public arena that means blocked reforms and worsening the budget crisis by their pro-Amendment 23 advocacy. So where’s the outrage?