If there remained any doubt that our country’s teachers’ unions are political animals first and foremost, with an occasional nod to “the children” they use as pawns, their reactions to Nancy Pelosi stepping down as Speaker of the House should be an eye-opener.
National Education Association (NEA) president Becky Pringle released this statement praising Pelosi:
“Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for your tireless advocacy and inspiring leadership over these many years. Your steadfast commitment to expanding educational opportunities for every student will positively impact Americans for generations. From historic measures to keep educators and our students safe from gun violence to standing up for workers’ rights, you have led the way with tenacity and grace. You are a true legend whose shoes will be hard to fill.”
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten’s statement was much longer, more syrupy and even more revealing of her blatant partisanship and advocacy on issues that have nothing to do with education:
“Nancy Pelosi will always be Madam Speaker. She will be seen through the lens of history as one of the best — if not the best — legislators and speakers of the House. She is a masterful legislator, an iconic leader, a brilliant strategist and a trailblazer. In her four terms as House speaker, she has led Democrats — and in fact, our entire democracy — through historic change, serving as the chief architect of generation-defining legislation that improved the lives of millions of Americans, from the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription costs to increasing the minimum wage and protecting retirement savings. She has never backed down from a fight on behalf of people, particularly children, whether it’s protecting our sacred right to vote, standing up for investments in infrastructure and education, tackling climate change, stewarding an everlasting commitment to upholding our democratic principles or cleaning up corruption in Washington so that those elected will do the work of the people, not the powerful. And it was Speaker Pelosi who brilliantly steered the American Rescue Plan through Congress, always making good on her promise to remember the children — to help families and communities weather the hardships of the pandemic, and to help reopen school buildings safely and get teachers the resources to support their students.
“Speaker Pelosi often calls me her sister. Today, I stand in deep awe and appreciation of my sister, a person of deep faith and deep patriotism, who has done so much for our country and is now stepping back like the gifted educator and mentor she is. It is one of the great honors of my life to have worked alongside her to help make this country better.
“Speaker Pelosi has always created the space for others to grow and succeed, and I look forward to continuing that work with the next generation of congressional leaders.”
Randi Weingarten’s praise of her “sister’s” ushering in the left’s political priorities may leave one wondering when she has the time to focus on getting those abysmal math and reading scores back up from 1990s levels, but her political posturing has resulted in more than 80,000 teachers resigning their union membership, or leaving the teaching profession itself, since the 2020-21 school year.
The Freedom Foundation has helped many of these teachers stop paying dues to a political agenda they don’t support, and we look forward to seeing the most recent membership reports that will surely reflect a continued teacher exodus from these political organizations.