Dori: Teachers union’s greed causing massive deficits, layoffs across state
The Seattle Times has a column by Danny Westneat titled, “The fight to fund the schools was supposedly won. So why are they now slashing librarians?” It’s about how the Spokane School District is eliminating school librarians. Why? Because they have a massive budget deficit. Why? Because the teachers union got massive, unsustainable raises last year.
I appreciate that one of my listeners — the very first person to comment on the article — said, “[Dori] Monson of KIRO predicted this when the teachers were given raises a year ago.”
This is an “I-told-you-so.”
When the strikes were going on last year, I talked to school board members. I talked to districts all around the state. They all told me, without question, that they did not have the money for these raises. The teachers union knew this.
The teachers union isn’t surprised now that the districts don’t have the money. It’s all carefully manufactured. They were not doing it for the children. They were doing it because of the greed of the union. They held illegal strikes for raises that there was not money to pay.
It was all because they want an income tax for education, in the form of a capital gains tax. After our property taxes have gone up billions of dollars for schools, they’ll come back and establish an illegal income tax.
Danny Westneat asked why they are slashing librarians’ jobs. It’s because the union wants to bankrupt the schools and districts so that they can get an income tax.
That’s why the state superintendent and the Legislature have been pushing for an income tax in the form of a capital gains tax. Once they have that, you watch that tax skyrocket. The courts will demand that it not be a tax just on the rich, but that it be evenly applied to everyone in the state. And they will soak us if we let it happen.
In Spokane, they are eliminating school librarians. The Vancouver School District has a $25 million deficit. Seattle has to make $40 million in cuts, so they will cut librarians, teachers, and administrators. Olympia faces an $8.5 million deficit. Shall I go on?
I haven’t been played or gamed at all in this whole process. And if you’re a faithful listener to this show, you have not either. What has happened to you and me, the informed, is that we have gotten overwhelmed by the greedy in our state. The greedy teachers union demanded money that was not there and cheated our kids.
This is what we have now. They’re making massive cuts in district after district. And we have an all-out push for an income tax so that we can give even more money to the teachers union.
I pin this on the union. Some teachers don’t even know what’s going on. They’re pawns. They just know they got raises. But I wonder among the people in the union who are in the know, do you feel at all guilty?
When you see the librarians getting cut at your school, when the class sizes increase because they’ve had to cut some teachers, do you feel any guilt about grabbing so much that your district couldn’t afford? Do you feel guilt that legislators are using this to push through an unconstitutional income tax?
I’ve said it many times. In our public life, there is no more destructive force than the teachers union. Most individual teachers are wonderful, dedicated professionals. But the union that represents them is about the most destructive force in public discourse today.
They buy politicians, they hold taxpayers hostage, they rotate illegal strikes from district to district every year, and they cause these deficits and layoffs after taxpayers have already increased our taxes by billions to get more funding for schools.
It’s an evil little demon we’re battling here.