The MEA Plan to Control School Boards

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Do you ever wonder why the growth in pay and benefits of government workers dwarf those of citizens in the private sector?

The answer, at least with respect to government teachers unions, is that they are able to vote themselves a raise.  That's a nice perk if you can get it!

Government unions found out long ago that they can effectively vote themselves lavish pay raises and benefit packages if they elect the local school board.  The unions know that if they control the school board they control the people responsible for setting their pay and benefits packages.

If that is not bad enough consider this. The school board controls spending policies with respect to textbooks and to building maintenance.  The school board has the power to divert funds set aside for textbook purchases and spend them on gold-plated benefit packages for government union members.  The board also has the power to defer building maintenance and divert those funds to plush government union retirement packages.  In other words, the board can let school buildings deteriorate while spending this maintenance money on employee salaries and benefits.

When the union controls the school board, public policy revolves around what is in the best financial interest of the union, not what is in the best interest of the students and the private-sector citizens who pay the bills.

A classic example of this type of cozy arrangement and financial mismanagement is on display in the Brighton School District located in Brighton, Michigan.  Prior school boards have funded lavish pay and benefits while they short-changed student textbooks and needed building maintenance. (Read what the Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently reported about the Brighton School District). Now the Brighton school board is asking citizens to approve a bond issue (the vote is on May 8, 2012) and foot the bill for this past mismanagement. Citizens are thinking long and hard about parting with their hard earned money only to have it effectively be redistributed to the gold-plated benefit packages of government union members.

Make no mistake, for years the Michigan Education Association (MEA government union) has had a strategic plan to take control of school boards who set pay and benefits for their members.  You don't have to take our word for it, just view the front cover of the 2007 MEA pamphlet shown below.

Front Cover of MEA Pamphlet

Perhaps a more accurate title would have been, "Elect Your Employer and Vote Yourself a Raise."

If the front cover is not bad enough, read the first passage in this pamphlet:

Dear Local Leader

"Electing Your Employer," is a political activity that closely touches all of your members. Policies made by local school boards have a direct effect on your members' salaries, benefits,...

The MEA has a strategic plan to elect their supporters and control school boards.  It is thorough and well thought out.  You can download and read their plan in this 35 page pamphlet by clicking below.

Electing Your Employer

Concerned citizens who are not beholden to union bosses will have to step up and run for school board if this situation is going to change.  We need citizens who put the interests of students and citizens ahead of the interests of union bosses.  Contact RetakeOurGov if you are interested in running for school board and strengthening our school systems.

Note: Many citizens believe they should not run for school board unless they currently have children in the public school system.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, in many ways, a citizen without children in the school district can have an added degree of impartiality.  Such a citizen will not have a potential conflict of interest when making a decision impacting a specific school in the district.  Also, such a citizen will not be intimidated by potential retaliation from school district employees who might not agree with the necessary reforms.

In 2012 there are several school board elections in Livingston County.  There are two ways to get your name on the ballot.  You can either collect 40 to 100 signatures on a nominating petition, or you can pay a $100 non-refundable fee.  The number of signatures required depends upon the specific school district.

Here is a summary of school board elections in Livingston County:

  • Brighton: (2) openings, 4 year terms
  • Fowlerville: (2) openings, 4 year terms
  • Hartland: (2) openings, 4 year terms & (1) partial term
  • Howell: (4) openings, 4 year terms
  • Pinckney: (2) openings, 6 year terms

Nominating petitions are due by August 14, 2012.  Click here for more details.

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