Teachers and the NEA: The Left`s Special Interest Human Shields

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves
a swift rap on the knuckles for hiding underneath the
desk of
the American schoolteacher
. In a cynical ploy to
evade accountability for the Democrats` continued fiscal
recklessness, Pelosi accused opponents of the $26
billion public employee union bailout bill of
teachers—and nurses, police officers and firefighters.
Pelosi took great offense at Republican leaders who
called out the Big Labor special interests pushing the
emergency summer rescue. But if they
talk, spend and lobby like special interests,
call them what they are.

I have nothing against public
school teachers. My mother was one. My children are
taught by some of the best in the nation. And over the
years, I`ve reported on valiant battles between
rank-and-file educators in government schools and their
fat, bloated union leaders who`ve transformed their
professional organizations into wholly owned Democratic
subsidiaries. My opposition to the so-called
bill (more accurately: the BigGovJobs bill) stems not
from meanness, but from compassion for millions of
dues-paying school employees being used as special
interest human shields.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Labor Union

National Education Association
in 2009
"raked in a
whopping $355,334,165 in `dues and agency fees` from
(mostly) teachers around the country."
It spent
close to $11 million more than it took in—$50 million of
which union leaders poured into
activities and lobbying"
for exclusively left-wing
and Democratic partisan causes and candidates.

Its primary mission? No, not
educational excellence. Not
"the children."
Political self-preservation. The
bill will essentially redistribute tax dollars to
teachers unions to the tune of $36 million for the

National Education Association
and $14 million for
the American Federation of Teachers,

to the
Grand Rapids
(Mich.) Press.
School officials said they have no
idea what strings would be attached to the money,
whether state legislatures would approve the cash as
part of special supplemental budgets, how long the money
would last, and how they would pay for stop-gap measures
while waiting for the taxpayer funds to flow.

As for the
invoked by Pelosi at the behest of Big Labor, as
Republican critics point out, states and the feds still
have more than $30 billion in unspent stimulus funds
sitting in government coffers. And school districts are
already in the midst of rehiring school workers laid off
earlier this year—absent the latest

Last July, the National Education
Association`s retiring top lawyer, Bob Chanin, speaking
at the NEA`s annual meeting in July, made the union`s
true interests transparent:

"Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of
our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of
our positions. It is not because we care about children
and it is not because we have a vision of a great public
school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are
effective advocates because we have power.

"And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who
are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in
dues each year, because they believe that we are the
unions that can most effectively represent them, the
unions that can protect their rights and advance their
interests as education employees. …

"This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with

achievement gaps,


dropout rates
, improving
teacher quality and the like are unimportant or
inappropriate. To the contrary. These are the goals that
guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be
achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights
and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a
price to pay."

Left-wing radical

Saul Alinsky
taught his education acolytes well.
Teacher organizers, he

, must commit to a
"singleness of
No, not serving children`s needs, but
serving the
"ability to build a power base."
If that isn`t the
dictionary definition of
what is?



Michelle Malkin

is the author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our


for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click


for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

and the just-released
Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.