Education Minnesota at Work in Election 2010

One of the biggest obstacles to education reform in Minnesota, or anywhere is for that matter, is the fact that unions, school boards, and legislatures are not three separate things.  Often, way too often, they are in bed together.  And that got us to thinking about the upcoming elections and who Education Minnesota is endorsing (and of course giving them money from their slush fund).  Here are some of their endorsed candidates in our area…

Of course it is no surprise that they have endorsed Representative Lyndon Carlson of 45B  (Robbinsdale, most of Crystal, and most of Golden Valley) for a 20th term.  Mr. Carlson is a former teacher (now retired) from the Minneapolis Public School System and has done nothing but throw money at education for the past 38 years!  Carlson is the Chair of the powerful Finance Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

It is also no surprise they endorsed Sandra Peterson of 45A (New Hope, part of Plymouth, and part of Crystal).  She was the president of the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers from 1977-1987, president of the Minnesota Federation of Teachers from 1987-1998, co-president of Education Minnesota from 1998-2001, and vice president of Education Minnesota from 2001-2004. She was also a member of the board of directors of the American Education Finance Association, vice president of the American Federation of Teachers.  She was also a sponsor of House File 3699 which would grant schools district the ability to raise taxes $200 per student in any year the basic formula is not increased.  In other words, the board can raise your taxes without your say so.  This measure is not about “the kids.” It’s about making sure the unions get paid no matter what the economic conditions (since they know 80 % of the money goes right into the pockets of employees).

Senator Terri Bonoff of District 43 was the Senate author of the Senate version of HF 3699.  It is called Senate File 3317, which again would give districts the ability to raise your taxes without a referendum.  Shockingly, Education Minnesota endorsed her as well.  So did the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the SEIU Union.

Then, of course, there is Mark Dayton our candidate trying to buy the governorship.  Dayton promises to increase teacher salaries and lower class size!  Wow Mr. Dayton those are new ideas, we haven’t tried that before!  Here is bite from Dayton’s website…

I will insist that some of my additional state funding be used to increase public school teachers’ salaries. The average Minnesota teacher’s salary is 3.3% below the national average. Good salaries are essential to attracting and retaining the best teachers possible, who are essential to the best public schools possible.  I will also insist that my additional funding go to lower class sizes. Too many elementary classes throughout Minnesota are overcrowded with 30 to 35 children. Too many high school classes have 40 to 50 students. Those class sizes are “leaving too many children behind.

Really!  All teachers should just get raises?  How about paying good teachers more and telling bad teaches to find a new line of work?  How about merit pay or school choice?  And come on, Mr. Dayton class sizes of 50?  Give me a break!

Of course, we don’t endorse candidates here at 281 exposed.  We trust you to do research and make up your own mind.  But whether you vote for a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Communist, tree hugger, or libertarian, if you want change in education vote against Education Minnesota and their cohorts.


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4 Responses to “Education Minnesota at Work in Election 2010”

  1. give2attain Says:

    They do seem to be a bit inbred and soft/sensitive. Maybe the Type A business folks are too busy working and paying taxes to spend time in politics…

    It is ironic that those who spend the most time in politics are probably those who would be most challenged to suceed in the business world. Maybe its time for a new slogan/saying: “Those that can not manage or lead run for political office…”

    Also, one of my deepest pet peeves is that people who are scared of firing poor teachers, seem to have no problem letting them stay in the classroom. Where they rob children of learning each and every year. Maybe 30, 60, 90, etc students a year are less important than that one teacher. It is disturbingly inconsistent…

  2. 281 Exposed Says:

    There are other disturbing facts. First and foremost is that nearly 40% of our legislators are former employees in the public school system (administrator, teacher, higher ed). Imagine if 40% of our legislators used to work at Exxon Mobil or Halliburton, or Walmart? Imagine the outcry there would be!

    Also the bills they proposed last year to extend referendums without a vote and to give district’s a discretionary levy are aimed at keeping their cartel together. They know 80% of that money just goes right in the pockets of employees.

    Just pay attention to who has new ideas for education and who wants to throw money at it!!!

  3. give2attain Says:

    You know the question before I ask it…. What is the source of the 40% number?

    If it is correct, then why do so many Educators become politicians? Possible answers:
    – They need a job that pays more in order to feed their families?
    – They work so few hours and have such high job security that they have time to campaign? (ie leave of absences, schools done by ~3 PM, Summers off, etc)
    – The personalities, beliefs and interests of Educators and Politicians are very similar? (ie these jobs interest them)
    – Few type A, achievement oriented, business type, professional, etc folks have any interest in running for office. (ie never has occurred to me to run…)

    My cynical side says that Politicians are mostly those who really could not succeed at a typical position in a typical business. Or those that crave publicity to fulfill some inner need. Or those that want to use the influence of the office for their own financial or personal gain. I really need to meet more capable and honorable politicians.

    Oh I forgot the last group of Politicians, the Idealists that want to right the social wrongs through larger government, more laws and additional taxes. Probably the scariest of the lot…

  4. 281 Exposed Says:

    We are trying to find a “non-partisan” site for the 40% figure rather than be accused of the unsual “vast right wing conspiracy.” We’ll keep you posted.

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