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Why teachers unions hate school choice

Conventional public school districts may covet the taxpayer dollars that follow a student when parents choose to enroll their child in a Michigan “public school academy” — also known as a charter school. But that isn’t the only motive behind the intense political campaign aimed at limiting the number of public charter schools, or even shutting them down altogether (see the Abed amendment). Union efforts to maintain the flow of school employee dues might be an even stronger motive.

For teacher unions and those politically and financially dependent on them, charter schools represent a significant threat. In academically failing school districts, charters may even be seen as an existential threat to the status quo public school establishment. The Michigan right-to-work law enacted in late 2012 may already be having a negative impact on union coffers. Less recognized is that public charter schools also deplete potential union membership, in numbers that rival the right-to-work law.

Michigan Capitol Confidential

Categories: Government Schools
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