Michigan, leading the way once again in the destruction of public education

It would seem that significantly defunding public education across the state, forcing class sizes to increase to the point of ridiculousness, closing successful schools in poor areas where ever possible, and wringing unprecedented concessions from teachers, was not enough for Michigan Republicans. According to reports out today, State Senator Phil Pavlov is suggesting that we give local school districts the ability to contract teachers through private companies, thereby making it easier to circumvent unions, keep wages low, and fire them at will (like when you find another, more desperate teacher, who will do the job for less money). The following comes from Mother Jones:

In Michigan, a state perennially crippled by budget deficits, public school districts across the state have already outsourced their bus drivers, cafeteria workers, sports coaches, and janitors to try and save money. Now Republicans in Michigan’s state Legislature want to take the outsourcing frenzy one giant leap forward by privatizing public school teaching.

Michigan Republican Sen. Phil Pavlov, who chairs the state Senate’s education committee, is preparing legislation that would allow public school districts to hire teachers through private, for-profit companies. Privatizing the hiring process would presumably allow school districts to bypass compensation packages sought by teachers unions and let private companies compete for contracts with districts…

According to Pavlov, this will help districts lower costs so that they can better serve our kids. (Sounds incredible, right?) The following comes from Eclectablog:

…”I look at it as offering options,” Pavlov said. “If there is something out there that can offer school officials the same options at a lower cost, schools need to take a look at that. It needs to part of the conversation on reform.”

Michigan Education spokesperson Doug Pratt rightly points out that this basically amounts to the “lowest bidder” method of selecting of teachers.

“What Sen. Pavlov seems to be talking about is handing the education of our children over to the lowest bidder and letting for-profit companies take over our classrooms,” Pratt said.

“Cost considerations will be on the mind of the company in charge of the teachers, with the over-riding concern being “How can I do this as cheap as possible?” Pratt said…

When are the people who elect men like Pavlov going to wake up to the fact that, through their votes, they’re dismantling the very schools that they send their own children to, and put an end once and for all to the “protect the wealth of the top 1% at all costs” mentality that is presently driving politics at every level in this country? When will people realize that their elected officials, regardless of the number of American flag pins they might wear, or the number of times that they call their opponents “Communists,” don’t really give a crap about folks who don’t write campaign checks? This, when you strip everything away, is really not all that hard to understand. It’s so easy that even a Tea Partier should be able to grasp it… It’s about destroying unions once and for all, and establishing a permanent underclass in America that will work for third-world wages… And it has absolutely got to end.

note: I was thinking about an image to illustrate this, and it occurred to me to search for “McTeacher” in Google. I wasn’t expecting that McDonalds would already have a “McTeacher” logo. Anyway, I think we might be hearing the phrase a lot over the coming years, as teachers increasingly become low-payed, interchangeable cogs in a for-profit education assembly line, reading pre-approved scripts to children with all the enthusiasm of someone flipping greasy, chemically-flavored, hormone and antibiotic-enriched beef patties. Or, better yet, why not allow school districts to sell corporate sponsorships to companies like McDonald’s, and make these teachers dress up like characters from McDonaldland? Wouldn’t kids, after all, love to have Ronald McDonald as a teacher? Just imagine the excitement for learning that he’d bring!

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  1. Posted September 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    …or it gets the school district out of the HR administration business and creates opportunities for ensuring success in teaching and learning by adding a competitive element to the mix.

    More and more companies outsource human resources, benefits management, and even their entire workforce to private entities that specialize in handling these administrative and personnel related requirements. Where it makes good fiscal sense to do so, why shouldn’t school districts have the same option other employers do?

  2. Jiggs
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    “What Sen. Pavlov seems to be talking about is handing the education of our children over to the lowest bidder and letting for-profit companies take over our classrooms…”

    Imagine if (when?) the schools, prisons AND the police are all owned by the same Corporation.

    If you think this can’t or won’t happen, you are delusional. It already is happening.

    No new taxes! Less government! More (low-paying) jobs! More Corporate wealth! Woo hoo!

  3. Christine M
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Can’t read whole blog, too painful.

  4. Billy
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    If this happens…which it will…and one of these companies hires some wolf in sheep’s clothing pederast, who touches some kid…which it will…then I say we get to stick Sen. Pavlov’s “#2” in the old sharpener, and take him down to the eraser. What a jack ass…

  5. Josh
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    my biggest pet peeve is when democrats rationalize this by saying “oh, everything goes in cycles, and we just have to let it play out.” bullshit.

    the sick thing is that the people who support the politicians making corporations rich will still be happy when they have no rights, money, or education. they’ll all be happy. it’s SICK.

  6. Josh
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Republican,

    There are plenty of reasons.

    Teachers should have an incentive to teach well, and to get the degrees that are required for them to get and keep jobs.

    You can’t think like an entrepreneur when you consider such a complex machine.

    It’s pretty obscure. I’m sure you wouldn’t understand.

  7. Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    This is bad news. Even with the internet, young kids still need good teachers and shittier jobs=shittier people.

  8. Mike Shecket
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Teachers already are interchangeable cogs, at best. The whole teacher education system is set up to reinforce the idea that no teacher is better than any other teacher except for experience level, which is convenient since under union contracts no teacher can get paid any more than any other teacher except based on tenure.

    So, for example, if you’re smart, you’re creative, you went to a top college, you’re motivated to teach in urban districts in an area of need and you like kids, you’re no better than–let’s say theoretically–some teacher who isn’t so terribly bright, is obsessed with appearing to be the smartest person in the room, and who comes into the classroom smelling like weed every single time he or she comes back from the parking lot. This might or might not have to do with why I quit a master’s program in science education five years ago and why other smart, talented, motivated people who were in the program with me and finished it never ended up actually teaching. (Mark, I’ll tell you the story sometime if you’re interested.)

    That’s one thing about unions–it’s not attractive to smart people to have to take orders from people who are vastly less qualified but have managed to keep a seat warm for 20 or 30 years. I mean, if it’s literally an assembly line situation where no one can possibly do the job better than any other person, that’s different. But then again, why should you be entitled to a job that anybody could do just because you happen to have been born in a wealthy country? (covering face, dodging tomatoes)

  9. dirtgrain
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    “That’s one thing about unions–it’s not attractive to smart people to have to take orders from people who are vastly less qualified but have managed to keep a seat warm for 20 or 30 years.”

    What the fuck do you think administrators are? Unions once gave teachers protection from the idiot flock of administrators. We had collective power to keep them in check and prevent them from forcing their whimsical, fleeting, self-serving and wrong ideas on teachers and what they do in the classroom.

    There are viable, union-sanctioned models in public schools for how to effectively maintain quality in the teaching profession: for example, Helping Teachers Help Themselves. Instead of seeking such a model, you are in favor of one that disempowers teachers–all to coax your ego and concept of self-worth. Nice. Thanks for selling out the profession.

  10. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Mike…teachers do not fear being better than others. And they prefer to have a union to protect their paycheck (look at history!). I have been in hundreds of classrooms and have observed that some teachers have a special gift and no union or administrator can hide it under any fucking “assembly line situation”. And likewise a bad teacher is the administrators problem and they in fact, as if on the assembly line…tenure them off, regardless. All the union does is ensure due process. HR in certain public schools has sucked!

  11. Amy S
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    All I can think to say about this right now is AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH while flinging my arms about wildly and kicking the air.

  12. Posted September 2, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    On paper I’m a pretty smart guy and I’m way into unions.

    I find the assertion that unions are only for stupid people to be highly offensive.

  13. Posted September 2, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Meant to tell you…per our union rep…class size is now 40 (k-3), 45 (4-5), 50 (6-8), 60 (9-12). No more pay for oversize classes, she reminded us (doesn’t affect me as special ed) and oh yeah…our top paid teachers (NOT ME!!!) are making $25k less than those in Plymouth, Bloomfield, Troy, GP, etc. I’m making about half, btw. But please, just pay me in grocery script because I’m just a girl working for pin money….

  14. Posted September 2, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, and my friends who did summer school told me that some private company ran in and they had scripts and could not go off script. My friend printed division sheets (on the office printer) and the woman from the company *ran* into her room, waving the dittos and crying, “You can’t use these!!! These aren’t XYZ company worksheets!!11!1111!!!!!!!” and so my friend had to scrap them.

  15. Posted September 2, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Okay, just read the comments. Mike, I’m really smart. I’m not shitting you…my IQ is north of 140, I graduated at the top of my college, went to a top law school, passed the 5th hardest Bar Exam in the country, aced grad school. (I’m also fun, funny and good in bed, but this isn’t a personal ad). The reason I am *for* unions is because I have higher cognitive skills and can figure out this:
    For profit school gets $1,000,000 for salaries. They pay teachers $60,000 a year and there are 10 teachers so that means about $600,000 for staff and $400,000 for profit.
    BUT…if they pay us $30,000 per year, times 10 teachers, = $300,000 for salaries, subtract from 1million and now it’s a $700,000 profit.

    See the problem? There is no incentive to pay us more unless they are made to. There is a huge teacher surplus in this country, so please don’t bother saying we could find another job!1!!11! Moreover, I love my job and shouldn’t have to look elsewhere.

    I will try to put it more simply–profit and public education do not belong together. We are not making cars or ass scratchers or the clamps that you can put on your nipples…we are educating children.

    Btw, they’ve already privatized subs in most districts (except mine, which doesn’t have any…at least my school doesn’t) and I think they pull in a whooping $75 a day.

  16. Posted September 2, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Btw, Mark, apropos of nothing…I had a dream that you had some weird shipping & receiving scam set up, but it was in zero G. We all had to wear these weird suits and sort of floated around as you packaged shit up.

  17. Glen S.
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Leave it to today’s Ayn Rand-inspired Republican neo-fascists to seriously propose that something as fundamental to the future of our society — nurturing and educating the next generation of citizens — should become just another “commodity” to be sold off to the lowest-bid (or most politically well-connected) contractor.

    Education is not a “business transaction.” Students are not “units of production.” Teachers are not “associates.” And something as fundamental to having a healthy community and society as a local public school should not be looked upon a “profit center.”

    Seriously … these days it is getting harder and harder to tell what is real “news,” and what is instead satire from “The Onion.”

  18. whoisdonald
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    How does this privatization argument still hold any sway with voters? Over and over the evidence shows the reality does not back the promise (nor benefit the people – ask Bolivia).

    Is it because so many people are mistrustful of government control? The libertarians, conspiracy theorists and big brother suspicious? And how many of these are the same hyper patriotic flag wavers whenever the question of defense comes up?

    About 8 years ago San Francisco had the opportunity to vote for taking control over their own power grid. This was on the heels of PG&E jacking everyone over in the midst of Enron and rolling blackouts in CA. It seemed like a great opportunity that would pass easily. Yet PG&E poured millions into a PR campaign and sunk the proposal based on a mistrust the government angle. And that’s in ultra liberal SF.

    So does the working class need to hire the same PR firm that sells a Nike vision to promote the values of people over profits and nip the selling out (i.e., privatization) of what remains in our collective commons?

  19. Posted September 2, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Patti wrote above, “There is no incentive to pay us more unless they are made to. There is a huge teacher surplus in this country, so please don’t bother saying we could find another job!1!!11! Moreover, I love my job and shouldn’t have to look elsewhere.”

    This jibes with what I know about the labor market for teachers locally. Anecdotally, I know two highly qualified teachers who moved to this area when their spouses took jobs at U-M. After two years of looking, neither was able to find a job teaching.

    Unfortunately, these facts don’t obviously support the proposition that we ought to pay teachers more. To the contrary, on the face of things the admitted facts seem to point in the opposite direction. Teaching is seen as a desirable profession, so much so that even in the face of low salaries and a difficult work environment, supply outstrips demand.

    A partial progressive response to this state of affairs is to point out that demand is affected by policy choices, in particular, policy choices about class size. Supposing that we have 100 students to educate, how many teachers are required will depend on whether we divide the students into classes of 50, 30, 25, 10 or what have you. Which is to say that if we decide that larger classes are okay then we will demand fewer teachers. So the progressive might say that with the right policy choices — which is to say smaller class sizes — what looks like a glut of teachers would turn into a shortage, and therefore we ought to increase pay.

    And that’s all well and good, except that in a world of real budget constraints for public schools, the rising cost of teacher compensation has been one of the drivers of the trend toward larger class sizes.

    For teacher’s unions, the dilemma is that they have historically had enough power to push for better pay and benefits for current employees, but not enough power to increase funding for education generally. In part, this is because the Right’s 30 year campaign against teachers unions has been more effective at constraining their political power than their organizing power. Regardless of the cause, however, the upshot has been that even though teachers unions keep winning contract fights, each victory puts more strain on a funding structure that those unions are powerless to fix.

  20. Thom Elliott
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    …No Mark, think of all the valuable jail slave- labor we can extract from these children. We already don’t care about them; just look at the illiteracy, the morbid childhood obesity, rampant incest, casual neglect, ect. We let the ruse of attempting to educate them drop altogether, and just have the directionless shades arrested and get them dyeing textiles, working call centers, packaging golfballs, you know, the important things. Just think of the savings, which we can pass along to the consumer, which is the most important bedrock of our society, mindless consumption untill the earth is a sandblasted toxic death dreamscape.

  21. Thom Elliott
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Also we should dismantle all unions, and all the terrible things trade unionism has wrought in its hellish forge. Maybe we can finally try to forget the horrifying nightmare era of no child labor, the farce of the 40 hour work week, the totally unproductive weekend ect. We can go back to the good ole glory days of unfettered free markets, the ideal! like Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”; a perfect image for what we should have today. The american capitalist is the moral spire, the highest achievable peak, why would they lie? Humans are only motivated by craven self interest, and nothing should get in the way of the ultimate moral standard.

  22. John Galt
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Education is not a right. It is like food. It is something for families with the means to enjoy it. It is wasted on the poor, the same way that health care and shelter are.

  23. Posted September 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    DR said it much better than I could ever hope to re: unions and the drain on the available funds. Perchance they can now use more of my dues to influence policy…I mean now that we can’t bargain for much, they’ll have some free time on their hands.

    I’m sorry about your friends’ spouses, DR. It really is tough out here…I’m dual certified in special ed, applied to about 10 jobs this summer, and didn’t even get an interview. I know folks who are getting certified in English and history and stuff and I try to tell them, as gently as possible, that they need to keep their options open and be VERY flexible…it’s hard out here for a teacha.

  24. Thom Elliott
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    That’s correct John, they don’t need to read, they just need to work. Like the Czechs under the Third Reich, a perfect example for what should be done to the various mud races and pathetic life unworthy of life; round them up and work them to death. Who cares?

  25. Bob
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Have an Arbor brew and toast the Snyder governorship. It’s mourning in America.

  26. Mike Shecket
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    dirtgrain: I can’t sell out the profession because they never let me in.

  27. Mike Shecket
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Why should physics teachers make the same amount of money as physical education teachers with the same amount of education and experience?

  28. dirtgrain
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    That’s not a bad point, but I wouldn’t throw out unions to fix such a problem.

  29. Not Kidding
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Just saw my kid’s class list for this fall. 34 students in her elementary class. One teacher. Please tell me who to kill to get a lower student to teacher ratio. Not kidding.

  30. (not the same) Bob
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    The proposal by the Senator is simply another step in the path (pioneered by charter schools) toward privatizing schools under the premise that the unions have ruined education and private competition is the process by which improvements are made. This is not to point out that I think charters are the root of evil in education, but we need to understand the destination that some of our government officials have placed us on, even as we merrily travel down the road.

    It struck me while watching the collective charter schools group in the Heritage Festival parade-are the large number of children representing the charters supporting an institution that they are happy to be part of, or are they the advertising tools of a corporation seeking to increase profits? It’s a matter of perspective. The water’s nearly boiling, but my little frog toes are thinking this is a nice hot tub.

  31. Posted September 3, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Why shouldn’t they?

    Have you ever taught either? I haven’t, but my guess is that being a physical education teacher isn’t any cakewalk.

  32. Edward
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    A petition to the Governor has started.

    You can sign it here.


    “Governor Snyder: Do Not Privatize Teaching in Michigan Schools”

  33. dirtgrain
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve subbed for gym teachers. It requires classroom management skills. Keeping a class of thirty to forty kids from hurting themselves, each other, and school property isn’t easy. With predictions of our country getting fatter and fatter, maybe gym class is important. But does it guide students down healthier paths for the rest of their lives? How much long-term effect did your gym classes have on you? I haven’t sought any research that relates. I do know that the gym teachers at my school don’t have to spend time grading papers like I do (I’m a high school English teacher)–but neither do math teachers, science teachers, and social studies teachers (not most of them, anyway).

    I have seen models for gym classes that have a significant academic element (reading articles about fitness, nutrition, sports medicine–and writing papers relating to those topics). We had a writing across the curriculum movement a while ago, but its effect has not lingered.

    It would probably be best if we consulted with some gym teachers before assuming that their education is not valid or necessary to their field. But I do think they have easier jobs than mine (based on subbing in gym classes several times a year).

    The new laws recently passed in Michigan require that student performance on state tests be part of evaluating teachers. I haven’t figured out how this will apply to gym teachers and cooking teachers and some of the other teachers who don’t teach skills that are actually assessed by the tests.

  34. Posted September 3, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Dirtgrain, I haven’t figured it out either. No one ever mentions special ed in this equation. My job is to teach Braille and low vision technology skills and then support the students in their academic classes. This generally means that I “push in” to other classes–usually math–and teach alternative methods. But I don’t give grades, so how will I be “graded”? Btw, it was really sweet that you said cooking teachers, but those days are long gone :( I had cooking in 8th and 9th grade and loved it. But since the MEAP doesn’t cover things like that, the schools usually don’t have electives like that. In fact, the only elective my kiddos get is gym, 2x a week.

    Mike does bring up a good point of physics vs. phys ed but again, throwing out the union is not the way to fix that. But how do we gauge what is more difficult? Sure, physics is harder for me but easier for my husband. Public speaking is a breeze for me, impossible for that same husband. There is a school of thought that special ed is “harder” than general ed but it’s all a matter of perspective. I could *never* handle a class of 40 kids, running amok in the gym! So to me, phys ed is “harder” than what I do.

  35. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Phys Ed & Art…the last bastions safe from MEAP tests, yet so enriching. I have always held that it isn’t just the tough academics that help prepare our kids for adult life. The sports my kids participated in and the coaching they received helped prepare them as much as Calculus did for life and college. And then there is recess…an equally important time of day that some fool educators have tried to eliminate and people bitch about kids sitting around in front of screens all day.

  36. Mike Shecket
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Maybe that’s a better way of making the point…why shouldn’t special education teachers have the chance to be paid more than (let’s say this time) English teachers?

    I’m not saying that it’s easy to be a phys. ed. teacher or an English teacher, but there are a lot more people out there who could do a sufficient (or great) job of it than there are people who are really qualified to teach math and science. Plus, with something like teaching English, there’s way more people who know and love literature and would love to teach it than those who have the patience and tolerance and tenacity to be great special education teachers.

    And yes, I was an intern and student teacher in both urban and suburban classrooms, and I’ve been a substitute teacher (for $75 a day, as you said) in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Lincoln, and Willow Run.

    I think teachers are great and I really would have liked to have been one for real, but the teacher education system and the teachers’ unions cheapen the profession in my eyes. It was made clear to me from the beginning that anyone who doubts the orthodoxy of “action research” and “discovery-based learning” is a kid-hating boob in the eyes of the current establishment.

  37. dirtgrain
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t lost any sleep knowing that some teachers don’t do their jobs as well as I (and some might do it better–bring it, I say), while getting the same pay. How is it that people don’t get that this is how it is everywhere? Think of where you work. Are there not some who do less or do a poorer job, and get paid as much or more than you? The union bashers and teacher bashers seem to imply that the business world is only filled with quality, top-notch workers–and nothing less. Please . . .

    I’m all for measures to improve quality and push for better work, but it sure sucks that they are cutting our pay and benefits and constricting our ability to teach with mandates about common assessments, while telling us to raise our students’ test scores or else.

    But I’ll still do my best, within reason (that means still spending time with my family). It has never occurred to me to stop trying because some other colleague is slacking. That’s absurd, and if that dictates the effort a person put into his or her work, then maybe there is something lacking in him or her.

    That said, if we have more pay cuts next year, I might go into foreclosure. I’m not intending to whine, as it has happened to so many. But I’m looking at other possible professions.

  38. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    A few years ago, I was at a crossroads in life. I considered becoming a secondary school teacher. Unfortunately, I am glad that I didn’t do it.

  39. TaterSalad
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Why collective bargaining with public employee Unions is not healthy and will destroy America:


    The big taxpayer rip-off has now been exposed: http://sweetness-light.com/archive/average-sf-pensions-are-higher-than-salaries

  40. TaterSalad
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m a member of a union, how do I get my money back?

    On UnionRefund.org you can make your own choices about how your working dues are spent. If you think that your hard earned dues should be spent on collective bargaining alone and not on politics, campaigns or lobbying you are what is called a “Beck Objector” and you can get some of your dues back.

    Where you live tells you how much money you can get back from your Union.

    Do I need to “resign” from my union?

    Yes, but here’s the rest of the story.

    Employees who eventually learn of their Beck rights and want to exercise them, are routinely required by their unions to resign and become “non-members.” Because the Supreme Court Beck decision did not address whether an employee can be required to resign from his union in order to exercise his or her rights, unions impose this condition to discourage their members from pursuing Beck opportunities.

    So, yes, you technically resign in order to stop paying the “political portion” of your dues. However, since you continue to pay for the “representative” portion…your union continues to represent you on payroll, benefits and work conditions. Your pay, pension and benefits are NOT affected.

    If you resign, the union would have to continue to represent you fairly and without discrimination in all matters subject to collective bargaining. You cannot be denied any benefits under the labor contract with your employer because of non-membership.

    By resigning, you will not have the right to vote on ratification of the contract or election of union officers, and there may be benefits provided under the union’s constitution and bylaws that are not available to nonmembers (however, a nonmember cannot be charged a share of the costs of member-only benefits or be fined for violating the union’s constitution or bylaws.)

    Exercising your right to object to the union agenda does not mean you forfeit benefits such as health care, pension, step increases, etc.

    Forcing a member to formally “resign” from your local union is an unnecessary union ploy designed to discourage, intimidate and scare member into NOT exercising their Beck rights. But it’s a practical and logical way to make sure your union dues are not being used to fund political and civic activities you don’t agree with.

    How long do I have to exercise my Beck Rights after I become a non-member of my union?

    You have thirty (30) days after your resignation to exercise your Beck Rights. If you do not exercise your rights within this time period you may do so during a specific “window” of time (generally once a year around the time your collective bargaining agreement is renewed).

    Will I need to renew my objections?

    Probably. Many unions will require you to renew your objection every year.

    My contract says I cannot keep my job unless I am a ‘member’ of the union. Will I get fired for resigning?

    No. When your contract uses the word member it also means “financial core” or “non-member.” You will still be required to pay part of your dues being a “non-member” and this will not cause you to loose your job.

    What is the difference between a Right to Work Vs. Union Security Clause State?

    Getting part of your dues back is a “Beck Refund” To get your Beck refund, find out if you are a member of a Labor union. If you are a union member and you decide you want to get your Beck refund, you can choose to end your union membership. Beck means when you become a non- member of a Union, in either a right to work or union security clause state you have the right to get your union dues back. What you get back is determined by what kind of state you live in.

    As a non-member in a Right to Work Sate you do not get your Beck Refund back; instead, as a non-member, you no longer have to pay any dues to your union at all. Twenty-Eight states allow union security clauses in your labor contract forcing you to pay union dues; therefore, you must pay those dues but of those dues the part that you “object to” paying you get back as your Beck refund. In the Twenty-Two Right to Work States you do not have to pay forced dues.In a Right to Work State you can resign from a union at anytime because it is what you want to do.

    Click here to check out what kind of state you live in. Remember becoming a “non member” is essential to getting your full Beck refund back or ending all dues to your union depending on if you live in a Union Security Clause State vs. a Right to Work state.

    What I expect from UnionRefund.org

    As a Beck Objector you are saying no to paying the portion of your dues you would have to pay to your union for work done on lobbying, campaigns and politics. UnionRefund.org will give you an estimate of your full Beck refund based on your Beck objection to such union political spending. You will be able to fill out our Beck Refund letter based on our estimate and send it to your local union to get your money back.

    When you send your Union Refund letter from this website you can expect the following to happen from your union:

    1) The union must and will stop charging you dues for the political work you are objecting to as a “Beck objector.”

    2) The union will give you the percentage and basis for your Beck refund.

    3) You can challenge the union’s amount of your Beck refund based on what they say is political expense versus collective bargaining expense.

  41. Bob
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Tater, go fuck yourself.

  42. Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I’d like to get back the portion of my taxes that go toward funding the military industrial complex.

  43. TaterSalad
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Hey Bob……………you’re a complete looser! You’re a joke! Come on out of the basement and take a deep breath.

  44. kjc
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “Hey Bob……………you’re a complete looser!”

    if you’re gonna call someone a loser, you really should know how to spell it.

  45. Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Perhaps he meant a “looser,” as in a person that loosens things up.

  46. Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Probably a typo for “looker.”

  47. Edward
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It was supposed to be “looner”.

    Don’t ask me how I know this.


  48. TaterSalad
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


    As good little liberals do, they follow orders that have been given to them.

  49. Disheartened Teacher
    Posted December 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I concur with many of the aforementioned comments. While I remain diligent in my attempts to be an effective (my own definition–which can’t be defined by politicians who couldn’t survive a week of teaching in my school), positively stereotypical secondary instructor, I am growing increasingly concerned. I’m disgusted and fearful about the state of public education, especially within this state, and especially about the students who will apparently ultimately be *(*(*(* over by the system. Furthermore, as energetic and optimistic as I strive to be, the given requirements for the job are becoming untenable. Even Super Man, Super Girl, or God himself would have an arduous task of meeting the increasingly absurd expectations–indeed, state requirements– of public teachers. Certainly, I advocate remaining steadfast and peaceful in the face of adversity. However, I’m not willing to eventually become a martyr–and a witness of a rather pronounced, grievous crime- for a system that is simply undemocratic and destined to implode.

  50. Posted December 26, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    undemocratic and destined to implode… by design

    [I’m more and more convinced that the failure of the public schools has been the conservative endgame from the start.]

  51. Thomas
    Posted March 16, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    You couldn’t tell me anything about Michigan these days that would shock me. Seriously, there’s nothing.

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  1. […] crusade to “save” public education, as outlined by State Senator Phil Pavlov – to privatize teachers… I’d like to think that the Secretary of Education would come in asking hard questions, […]

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