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Wisconsin Protests; Another Argument for Homeschooling

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“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” – Albert Shanker, former President of the United Federation of Teachers

The reasons why public schooling is inferior to homeschooling are innumerable.   The current political protests that are playing out in Wisconsin, which are likely to spread to other states, will hopefully help many more Americans acknowledge this reality.

First, let me provide some context.  Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker, is currently projecting a budget shortfall of $3.6 billion over the next two years.  Walker’s proposals to require public sector employees to pay half of their pension costs and 12% of their healthcare costs would reduce the shortfall by $300 million dollars.  In addition, public sector unions would be limited in their collective bargaining rights for anything other than pay.  Unfortunately, his proposals exempt police, firefighters and state troopers.

For most of us who aren’t government employees, these proposals hardly seem draconian.  In addition to outstanding job security, public sector employees receive pay and benefits well in excess of the private sector.  Apparently, taking extraordinarily favorable employment conditions and making them only extremely favorable employment conditions is not an option for the unions and the politicians they control.

It is not surprising that the proposed cuts have led to political drama.  Public sector unions are huge political players, having injected scores of millions of dollars into the 2010 elections.  These unions have the ability to make or break a political candidate, and they effectively control the Democrat Party (nearly 10% of delegates at the Democrat National Convention in 2000 were in the teachers union).  The politicians they help get elected then pass bills to increase public sector hiring (and dues paying members of the unions).  As the public sector unions continue to grow they gain more and more influence over the political process.  This phenomenon is blatantly obvious when the President of the United States takes a partisan position and throws his weight behind the public sector unions in a decidedly non-federal issue. The symbiotic relationship between public sector unions and politicians creates a vicious, unsustainable cycle leading toward fiscal nightmare.   This nightmare is now coming to a head in Wisconsin, and states throughout the nation.

Spelling Not Required to Bankrupt Government

Teachers Unions are not in the business of ensuring high quality education for children.  They are in the business of helping ensure maximum benefits for their dues paying members, regardless of the quality of instruction.  In fact, they are in the business of helping ensure maximum benefits for their dues paying members, in spite of the quality of instruction.  This is why they actively oppose efforts to measure performance outcomes, compensate based on performance, or lift barriers to firing bad teachers.  To see what I mean I recommend watching The Cartel, a documentary on the failed public education system in New Jersey.

Parents as a whole, unfortunately, don’t realize the low quality of the schooling their children are receiving in this country, nor do they realize the structural impediments that have been emplaced to prevent effective education reform.  If they did, real protests led by regular citizens would be a staple at state capitals around the country, and they would dwarf the astroturf protests that are taking place in Milwaukee.  If parents understood that their money was being taken from them by force through taxation, to provide extraordinarily generous pay and benefits to teachers who simply don’t show up for work because they may be forced to contribute to their pensions and healthcare like most other Americans, then parents would demand better stewardship of their tax dollars.  If parents understood that their own children were being manipulated by the teachers union for financial gain, against the interests of the parents, instead of receiving a quality education, then perhaps parents would simply remove their children from the cancerous public education system entirely.

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11 Responses to " Wisconsin Protests; Another Argument for Homeschooling "

  1. YeSun Wiltse says:

    An excellent article. One of the reason parents have more confidence in public school system is the inflated grading. Parents need to take an active role in their children’s education.

    • editor says:

      I agree. It has become common practice for schools (and even states) to repeatedly lower the bar in order to hide the fact that public schooling doesn’t help children meet already deflated standards.

  2. Joy Randolph says:

    Teachers who are calling in sick without being sick do not get my support. The local, state, and federal governments are broke. Everyone who has a “job” is fortunate, and everyone including the people getting government benefits must be willing to help bring this government spending and deficit under control. We all can give up a little in order to keep this country running. Otherwise, the country goes completely broke and “EVERYONE” loses everything they have worked for and we will be in soup lines – there will be no social security, there will be no medicare, there will be no union benefits, there will be no food stamps, etc. Are we such selfish people that this is what we want for our families?

    Joy Randolph, Evans, Ga.

    • anonymous says:

      The country will go completely broke, there is no question about that. The Republicans and Democrats refuse to attack the deficit because they are beholden to special interests. The question is, when the system collapses, will the people be able to take care of themselves or will they turn to the state for help as they have been conditioned to do so through the public education system? Homeschooling is the best option for those who want their children to survive in a volatile world.

  3. YeSun Wiltse says:

    I know quite a few former teachers who left government school system because they had to put up with so much non-educational regulations. Instead of teaching kids, they had to spend so much time filling out paper work. God forbid if they had inovative method to get kids excited about learning that was out of ordinary government standards.

    • editor says:

      Agreed. Some of the most passionate homeschool advocates are public school teachers who realized the harm of the system that employed them. Many public school teachers homeschool their kids.

  4. bill orr says:

    Unions, including the teachers unions have been busted wide open for lying to its membership and pretending to be working on their behalf. The unions have stolen the retirement funds from members just as polititians have stolen social security blind right under our nose. Putting more money into a failing system will not fix the problem, only produce a more expensive fiasco.

    • What exactly is so wrong about paying teachers for PERFORMANCE and not for how long they’ve been drinking coffee in the teachers lounge? At least in homeschooling the focus isn’t on ruining the minds of kids to make politicians and teachers unions richer.

      • Antonio Buehler says:

        Agreed. The solution is not throwing more money into a broken system. We can fight to improve the education system in this country politically, but the best thing that any individual parent can do for their children is to simply opt out of the system. Homeschool.

  5. [...] Wisconsin Protests: Another Argument for Homeschooling [...]

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