"Freedom to Teach"

Friday, September 09, 2011

Earlier today I announced my support for legislation that would reform the way teacher union dues are collected and allow teachers to keep more of the money they earn.

It seems that those in Senate leadership across the aisle have taken to demonizing my position on this “Freedom to Teach” issue.  The Minority Leader even goes so far as to call me out by name and demand that people call my office in protest. 

See, the problem with my opposition’s position is fairly clear.  I want to keep more money in the pockets of teachers, and thereby keep more money in a family's savings account or money that can be spent to stimulate our economy.  The Minority Leader would like to continue to see hundreds of dollars removed from teachers pay to support a $200,000-a-year plus salary for union bosses who haven't seen the inside of a class room in years.  Or maybe the money coming out of the teacher’s pay goes to foot one of their many high-paid lobbyists dinner and entertaining bills.  The Minority Leader is just plain wrong.

That money belongs to the teacher that earned it.  It is up to them to contribute based on personal choice, not because the school district extracts it from paychecks and deposits it in the hands of the union bosses.

Teachers have been asked to give-up a great deal lately.  I fully recognize that many teachers have sacrificed through salary reductions, concessions, paying more in health care costs, and in some cases, lay-offs.  The “Freedom to Teach” proposal means that their salary is going to go directly into the hands of the teachers that earned it educating the future of our state. 

This is truly a reform to help middle-class families keep more of their hard-earned money.

Randy Richardville
Senate Majority Leader

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