What About The Undue Influence of the Teachers Union?

As of late, there have been a flurry of news stories calling out charter school advocacy groups for spending “unprecedented” amounts of money on lobbying legislators.

While I can’t blame journalists for pointing out spending, here’s the issue: These recent attacks on education advocacy organizations and the parents they support omit glaring and important details.

Sure, education advocacy groups have spent large sums of money this session, but they’re doing this to combat the massive lobbying efforts waged by the teachers unions against charter schools.

The state’s two largest teachers’ unions have spent over $710,000 on lobbying so far this year. One of their main goals this year is a two-year moratorium on charter schools.

Advocacy groups like Families for Excellent Schools are spending money so that parent voices are heard – which is not an easy task.

The Connecticut Education Association and the Connecticut Federation of Teachers (AFT – CT) wield an incredible amount of influence because unlike advocacy groups, unions can influence legislators with independent expenditures and campaign contributions.

Every year, the CEA and the AFT-CT give tens of thousands of dollars to state campaigns.

Why hasn’t any of this been reported? Why are the unions absolved when they spend “unprecedented” sums?



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