ERIC Number: ED387477
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Dec
Teacher Unions: Is the End Near? How To End the Teacher Union Veto over State Education Policy. Briefings.
This paper is devoted to educational reform strategy and tactics relating to the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation's largest teacher unions. As is widely recognized, the teacher unions are the major obstacle to market oriented educational reforms, such as school choice or contracting out instruction to the private sector. They are also the main opposition to lowering the age of compulsory schooling, home schooling, or other reforms that would shrink the market for public education. Essentially, it is argued that it is now feasible to eliminate NEA/AFT veto power over state educational policy. This objective can be achieved in a few years, even without repeal of the state bargaining laws which have been the foundation of teacher union membership, revenues, and political power in most states. The argument is that legislative changes in the nonbargaining states and amendments to the bargaining laws in ways that are thoroughly justified on public policy grounds, apart from their implications for union political influence, will suffice. Indeed, in some cases, the amendments proposed would merely apply the safeguards for union members under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to state bargaining statutes which govern school district labor relations. Partly for this reason, the changes cannot reasonably be characterized as "extremist" or some such pejorative term that suggests a narrow ideological approach to the issues of union power. (Author)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rhode Island Univ., Providence. Urban Field Center.