Saturday, May 13, 2006

You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

Florida legislators, Republican and Democratic, have placed their collective index finger into the air and determined not to support Kingmaker/ Governor Jeb Bush.

Governor Bush had been battling to overturn the Supreme Court's ban on vouchers. He'd also been fighting for increased class size, despite the fact that voters had demanded otherwise (if you believe Florida voting results).

The two amendments were at the heart of Mr. Bush's efforts to reduce the influence of teachers' unions and to allow private schools to become a more accessible alternative to those run by the state.

Make no mistake--politicians like Jeb don't just want to "reduce the influence" of teachers' unions. They want to eliminate it, along with that of other unions, so that the only voices heard in the media will be those of corporations. As regular readers of this blog know, I'm not a huge fan of corrupt, entrenched union leadership. But before the UFT, adjusted for inflation, NYC teachers earned well less than half what they do now.

Without unions, we'd be sleeping on couches in parents' living rooms. and living in trees, parks, and classroom closets. Perhaps we'd have other jobs that allowed us to support ourselves, or perhaps there wouldn't even be any. Unions are our best and only protection against the likes of Jeb Bush and Joel Klein, who'd gleefully reduce us to the status of Wal-Mart associates, and eliminate public schools altogether to reduce Steve Forbes' tax bill.
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