Ideologically rigid teachers’ union desperately seeking Republican members for token friendship and political expediency
In the latest sign that Education Minnesota is no longer in the public policy driving seat, the teachers’ union has put out a desperate plea to Republican teachers. A January 21 internal memo from Education Minnesota president Tom Dooher to local leaders announces an upcoming statewide strategy session for Republican union members, a group whose opinions the union has previously shunned or ignored. The memo was provided to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota by numerous union members. (Click here to view.)
President Dooher’s claim that the union, which has existed in its current form since 1998, has recently “made efforts to involve Education Minnesota Republican members in legislative and political activities” is a tacit admission that the ideologically rigid organization had previously ignored a substantial portion of its membership.
Education Minnesota’s newfound claim of bipartisan cooperation would be laudable if it weren’t so laughable. In the past two years, during their supposedly concerted outreach to conservative members, the union’s political contributions and policy positions were anything but bipartisan.
From January 2009 through September 2010, Education Minnesota spent $1,087,080 in direct political expenditures in support of DFL candidates and liberal committees in the current election cycle. For Republicans: a grand total of $4,950, or less than 0.5% of the total. On the policy front, the union has previously opposed virtually every reasonable K-12 reform, at times even turning on their close allies in the legislature.
Apparently the teachers’ union’s oft-stated commitment to “diversity” does not extend to a diversity of ideas.
Questions or feedback? E-mail Jonathan Blake, FFM Vice President, or call 612-770-2834.