The Sunday March 20th edition of the South Bend Tribune carried a half-page ad sponsored by the NEA-South Bend (National Educational Association) showing pictures of the runaway Indiana Democrat Representatives and Democrat Senators that said “THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION!” Additional copy said “Thank you for recognizing Indiana’s children and supporting Public Education.”
It is your Commander’s opinion that this ad is an act of deception, transference, and simple dishonesty on the part of NEA-South Bend to the real educational related issues confronting the Indiana House of Representatives. Yes, the House proposed budget will reduce funding for education in Indiana, but that is partially the result of excessive unwarranted expenditures toward teacher pay, health care and pension benefits packages approved by previous Democrat administrations. The support for voucher funding is another contentious issue. Historically the Indiana Democrat Party has been closely involved and the recipient of major financial support from the NEA.
I contend that the relationship between the NEA and the Indiana Democrat Party is one of “I scratch your back and you scratch mine,” in other words… complicit. When the Democrat Party held the majority in the Indiana House they passed many budget resolutions that were extremely beneficial to the NEA. Now that the Democrat Party is in the minority they have elected to desert their elected and sworn posts by running away to Urbana, Illinois hotels to prevent a quorum, thus restricting the passage of legislation that is disfavored by their generous campaign contributors at the NEA.
Representative Craig Fry, David Niezgodski, Ryan Dvorak, Nancy Dembowski, Scott Pelath, and House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer have abandoned their posts and acted as petulant children, because they can not get their way on legislation that has feathered their nest, and that of the NEA. As a result, they fled leaving their Districts without representation in the state House.
To ad insult to injury is the recent action taken by Representative Ryan Dvorak, who is also running for election as Mayor of South Bend, to sneak back into South Bend over the weekend to attend a get-together at the South Bend West Side Democrat Club. He cannot attend to his elected post, but he can participate in an event that will enrich his campaign war chest. Heaven help the residents of South Bend if they elect Dvorak with his record of abandoning his sworn elected duties.
When it comes to teacher unions, I will always remember the quote attributed to the late Albert Shanker who was union president of New York’s United Federation of Teachers (an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) who when asked the question, “Why do you always take the side of the teachers and not the children?” His answer was “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” That quote says it all when it comes to my opinion of the true goals of teacher unions.
The true issue confronting the NEA-South Bend is that the Democrat Party has lost its majority in the House and can no longer do its bidding. The NEA has received unsustainable benefit packages often thanks to financial association with state legislators.
I am appalled that at this difficult time in our economy teacher unions are using our children as an emotional dodge to shift public opinion to their side of the discussion. I might add that our niece is a teacher in Chicago and finds that the union is of no help in her classroom or her school.
Shame on the NEA and shame on the duplicitous actions of Indiana State Democrats! It is far past the time to tell the truth and present all the honest facts in this debate. PAY TO PLAY is the true modis operandi of the Indiana Democrat Representatives and the NEA. Think about this in the state where you live.