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Sitting on Both Sides of the Table in Washington

What better way to control the outcome of monopoly bargaining negotiations when you have teacher union officials and members on both sides of the negotiating tables?   Is it any wonder they are now scheming to “own” the school boards in Washington state?   Mark Stoker Vancouver School District president,  has the story in clarkcountytoday.com.  Perhaps concerned Washington parents will see the writing on the wall and take note.

For months now, I have been telling anyone who would listen that there is a statewide effort by the state teacher’s union (WEA) to promote and support union leaders to run for positions on local school boards. Sure, they will say they’re in it for the kids, and greater transparency and accountability, and other buzz words they think the public will get behind. For me, the motivation is obvious; gain control of local school boards and influence bargaining and budgeting in a way that favors union objectives. These would be the proverbial foxes guarding the hen house.

In my 12 years on the Vancouver School Board, I have seen such efforts in the past. The spouse of a local union executive ran against me and lost several years ago. Recently, Wendy Smith, an Evergreen school teacher and union activist, ran and won, a position on the Vancouver School Board. However, I never expected the union to admit to the plan and try to capture a majority of the board.