Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Teacher Union Contract as Public Policy?

To be honest, I'd never thought of it that way before. That is what Myron Lieberman posits in "Avoiding the Ratification Trap", a recent article in School Reform News (PDF download). Beware, it is a pro-school choice publication put out by the Heartland Institute.

His contention is that at best, school boards are third-party bargainers at the table when representing the interests of students, parents and the greater school community. Contract ratification (on both sides of the table) is done at a breakneck speed, he says, to squelch opposition to any of the provisions from the community or groups within the teacher's union that could delay or derail what in essence is a "signed, sealed and delivered" contract.

His solution?

"...a state law mandating an interim period for interested parties to react to proposed contracts. This solution could also be a winning issue in school board elections. Activists at the local level would achieve some surprising victories, despite the inevitable opposition from public employee unions and their allies in government."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How fast is ratification, generally? In New York City, we have a reasonable discussion period. Could be a bit longer, but I'm not sure it's necessary. We have, I'm not sure if it is always the same length, a month?


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