Oregon Teachers, Students Exploited As Pawns In Budget Games

Posted on February 6, 2012 by

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Article VIII, Section 8 of the Oregon State Constitution clearly states:

Adequate and Equitable Funding. (1) The Legislative Assembly shall appropriate in each biennium a sum of money sufficient to ensure that the state’s system of public education meets quality goals established by law.

School funding is the ONLY constitutionally mandated expenditure in the Oregon state budget.  By law, public schools must be funded before anything else.  So why do the OEA and AFT Oregon, which claim to represent the interests of teachers and students, continually fund and support politicians who unconstitutionally GUT school budgets so they can fund pet projects like bike paths and sustainability centers?

Why did the unions support the campaign of a governor who, in violation of the law, wants to channel constitutionally mandated K-12 funds towards welfare programs?

Why did they help put into office legislators who used teachers and students as hostages in a sick political shell game to force tax hikes on struggling small businesses?

Why do they oppose school choice, which would save the state millions and empower parents and teachers instead of bureaucrats and politicians?

Why do they support politicians who continually squeeze Oregon job creators and taxpayers to maintain their spending addiction, driving many of them out of state (taking their tax revenue with them)?

Why do they team up with Occupy Wall Street protesters, who have already cost over-strapped taxpayers $270,000 in clean up and police overtime costs in the city of Portland alone?

The decisions by union-supported legislators and politicians to oppose reforms and put other budget considerations before constitutionally mandated education funding has led to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and bargaining crises like the one currently playing out in the Gresham-Barlow School District.

There is NO excuse for Oregon schools to be short on funding.

There is NO excuse for teacher unions to be supporting politicians who unconstitutionally gut school budgets, put pet projects and politics before the needs of Oregon families, and use the teachers and students they claim to represent as political pawns.

There is NO excuse for teacher unions to falsely smear anyone who dares to challenge their monopoly or recommend innovative solutions to the status quo as supposedly being “against teachers.”  Nothing could be farther from the truth.   Those who TRULY respect teachers fight for their right not to be exploited by their own unions.

Cross posted at ThoughtsFromAConservativeMom.com

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