This week, the Freedom Foundation announced plans to apply its winning formula nationwide with the goal of informing public-sector employees in every state of their right to leave their union and stop paying dues.
Teachers’ unions provide the ideal real-life lesson as to why the expansion is so important.
During the past year, teachers’ unions across the country have flexed their muscles to stop or delay school re-openings with political demands that have nothing to do with education, health or safety.
Never mind the damage done to the children, their families and the local economies that couldn’t rebound, the teachers’ unions viewed the pandemic as a strike they didn’t have to call.
Not surprisingly, states — or in some cases, municipalities within states — where schools remained closed the longest are those where the teachers’ unions have their tightest stranglehold over government policymaking.
Meanwhile, states with less union influence like Montana, South Dakota, Florida and Texas were among the first to re-open schools to in-person education in 2020.
The liberal enclaves of Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and much of California, Northern Virginia and urban areas of Pennsylvania and New York, on the other hand, remained closed to in-person education well into 2021.
And the areas that remained closed had the full backing of the American Federation of Teachers and its president, Randi Weingarten — who heavily influenced President Joe Biden’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) re-opening guidance.
Until it became obvious the political winds were turning against the teachers’ unions and their bought-and-paid-for politicians, that is.
And while the national unions have since reversed course, local unions in these entrenched areas are hell-bent on ignoring the calls for change.
A prime example is in Los Angeles, California, where UTLA has made increasingly unreasonable demands to advance the political agenda of its leadership regardless of how students are impacted.
Its demands include closing all private charter schools, “defunding” the police and increasing taxes.
UTLA also pushed for a hybrid-learning model consisting of a limited schedule, in which students only show up for a few days a week or for limited hours each day.
For elementary students, that could mean only three hours of “live, online instruction” a day, not a full school day and without the social interaction between peers and teachers that is so crucial to the development of young children.
In other regions, unions have pushed “in-person” instruction to be twisted into including “Zoom in a Room,” where students are herded into a classroom only to continue to learn through a laptop screen, with headphones in, from a remote teacher.
So much for interacting with their peers and following the science.
Here’s where the Freedom Foundation has stepped in. Representing a group of brave parents in LA, the organization has taken the fight to UTLA to challenge tactics designed to bully school districts and parents into submission.
The case is ongoing, but the mission is important — stand up to the teachers’ unions in a way very few have for the last 15 months.
The Freedom Foundation’s recently announced national expansion will put it in a position to help families not only in California and on the West Coast, but across the United States, freeing them from the stranglehold of overzealous teachers’ unions.
The fight may not be easy, but the Freedom Foundation’s commitment to the well-being of America’s children is more than equal to the task.
Since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which affirmed the right of government employees to refuse union support or participation, the Freedom Foundation has helped nearly 100,000 people stop paying dues.
Its work has cost union bosses $140 million that would otherwise have been spent on their lavish lifestyles and left-wing politics.
And as the expansion proceeds, that’s going to be just a drop in the bucket.