Ladies and gentleman, unions: “Education should not be a competitive endeavor,” California Federation of Teachers president Joshua Pechthalt told the Sacramento Bee. He was responding to a GOP gubernatorial candidate’s suggestion that better performing teachers be paid higher salaries.
The candidate lost, but there is one reason to think public policies that promote competition—and thus better services in government—have a chance in the future, as Steven Greenhut notes:
[T]he debate over merit pay reinforces the wisdom of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision, which declared that teachers and other public employees are not required to pay union dues even to support collective-bargaining purposes. Justice Samuel Alito, wrote for the majority that such bargaining often involved “fundamental questions of education policy,” so it’s antithetical to the First Amendment to compel people to support ideas to which they don’t agree.
“Should teacher pay be based on seniority, the better to retain experienced teachers?” Justice Alito asked. “Or should schools adopt merit-pay systems to encourage teachers to get the best results out of their students?” Public-school teachers no longer are forced to subsidize the opposition to merit pay and to reforms to the current tenure and seniority based system, but there’s still a long process ahead to move toward the idea that Cox touted.
[Steven Greenhut, “California Teachers Unions Oppose Paying Teachers More Because It Would Introduce Too Much Competition Into Public Schools,” Reason, November 9]