Here’s a pop quiz: Who’s donated the most money to an effort in California to defeat Proposition 8, an initiative on the November 4 ballot that would define marriage as between a man and a woman in the state?
A) Gay-advocacy organizations
B) Civil-rights groups
C) The California Teachers Association
If you guessed “C,” you understand the nature of modern liberal politics. And if you didn’t, perhaps you’re wondering what exactly gay marriage has to do with K-12 public education. The high school dropout rate is 1-in-4 in California and 1-in-3 in the Los Angeles public school system, odds that worsen considerably among black and Hispanic children. So you might think the CTA, the state’s largest teachers’ union, would have other priorities.
Yet last week the union donated $1 million to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign. Of the roughly $3 million raised by opponents of the measure so far, $1.25 million has come from the teachers’ union.
Do you think just maybe the teachers union collects more money from members (and in California, from agency-fee-paying non-members) then it knows what to do with? This year’s election is revealing the National Education Association’s priorities. In Colorado, it’s spending millions of dollars on behalf of the Big Labor coalition. In California, it’s leading the charge in contributions for a socially liberal agenda.
The frequently insightful Mike Antonucci tagged it as “NEA Chooses Clout Over Public Image”, and added this overlooked tidbit:
Considering the culture war aspect of Prop 8, it’s surprising that more attention hasn’t been paid to the fact that CTA has also contributed $450,000 to defeat Prop 4, which would require parental notification before abortions are performed on unemancipated minors.
When it comes to the priorities of teachers’ union officials, actual education ranks somewhere down the totem pole.