February 19, 2014
Maurice A . Thompson
1851 Center responds to unearthed Ohio Education Association "Agenda."
Columbus, OH - The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today issued the following response to news that Ohio's largest teachers union, the Ohio Education Association, has named it to its "enemies" list:
Today, the 1851 Center learned that OEA invests its time in identifying its enemies, and that deliberating on how to "deal" with them.
The Agenda for the OEA 2014 Collective Bargaining Conference outlines its "Critical Issues Sessions."
What the OEA "considers critical" is identifying and destroying its "enemies." Session H of the OEA's annual meeting was entitled "Exposing Our Enemies: Anti-Union and Anti-Public Education Forces." There, the OEA explains, "Participants will learn the scope and main goals of key local and national anti-union and anti-public education groups pushing the corporate school reform agenda. Participants will explore key major opposition and corporate reform players, including the Koch brothers, Students First, ALEC, Tea Party Patriots, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, and the Ohio School Board Leadership Council. Participants will learn how to identify . . . enemies and key players in their own communities. . . "
Equally disturbing, the other "critical" sessions were largely devoted to how these government employees could obtain less accountability and more public funds for themselves at taxpayer expense: Collective Bargaining, Negotiations, Compensation, Teacher Rights and Working Conditions, Bargaining Teacher Evaluations, and ensuring the rights of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual employees.
Not one of these sessions concern how to become a better teacher. That apparently is not considered "critical."
These are the people who have captured the power to educate Ohioans' children and intercept Ohioans' funds. And this is, literally, their agenda.
They did not share this agenda willingly. But we will share ours.
We support defending constitutional rights and limiting government. As to education, this simply means the following:
· Freedom of educational choice for Ohio parents and children.
· Fiscal restraint and responsibility, rather than persistently resorting to increasing property and income taxes to fund public school districts.
· Freedom for Ohioans who are or wish to become teachers to decide for themselves whether to pay a labor union.
· Transparent ballot language and no use of public resources to pass levies.
Are these principles "anti-union" or "anti-education"? You decide.
But if supporting freedom of choice, educational opportunity, limited taxation, and fiscal responsibility makes us an enemy of the Ohio Education Association, then we proudly stand as an enemy of the Ohio Education Association; and we are honored to appear on this list. Perhaps dissimilar from the OEA, our allegiance is to the betterment of Ohioans and their children; not to the union self-interest that consistently operates to their detriment.
The 1851 Center maintains that Ohioans would be better served with public servants who spend more time concerning themselves with educating Ohioans' children, and less time attempting to plot political victories and milk already-struggling Ohio taxpayers.
But this won't happen under our current set of rules; and so it's time for those rules to change.
We remain committed to protecting you and your family from these people.
Review the OEA's entire agenda HERE.