NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teachers Union Resists Charter Schools

August 5, 1996

In a recent statement on charter schools, the American Federation of Teachers seemed to be saying that schools exist to serve teachers' pay and pension interests. The statement also revealed a strategy for resisting establishment of charter schools by throwing up roadblocks and barriers.

Among other recommendations, the union wants to:

  • Allow collective bargaining rights and make charter schools responsible for retirement and health costs to the same extent as other public schools.
  • Require the approval of local school districts for charter schools within their boundaries.

Charter schools represent a popular educational reform effort that allows teachers and parents to run their own schools.

  • They are independent and operate without many of the restraints of local public schools.
  • However, a charter can be revoked if the school fails to meet the goals outlined.

A Hudson Institute report that supports separating charter school proposals from strict union contracts and allowing noncertified people to teach in the schools.

The Hudson Institute would:

  • Allow any individual, group or organization to submit a charter school proposal.
  • Allow private schools to convert to charter status.
  • Keep charter restrictions and regulations to minimum health, safety and nondescrimination provisions; and automatically exempt charter schools from other state and local laws and regulations.
  • Define charter school accountability as a triad consisting of standards, assessments and consequences.

Source: Tamara Henry, "Differing Philosophies on Running Charter Schools," USA Today, August 5, 1996.


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