You’ve mentioned many times that Montgomery is owned part and parcel by the teacher’s unions. . .what aspects of county government do they control, and how?
Don’t take my word for it. Take theirs.
“It was the Unions that put Duchy in office n it was the Unions that took her out. Justice served!” read a text message forwarded at 1:24 a.m. Wednesday by John Sparks, head of Montgomery’s firefighters union.
Trachtenberg netted support from public employee unions four years ago but later challenged what she considers unsustainable compensation packages. The cost of government salaries and benefits have soared over the past decade in Montgomery and are a key driver of ongoing budget problems in the wealthy county.
Political observers say the incumbents could be facing tough reelection battles. Four — Floreen, Subin, Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville) and Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County) — failed to capture endorsement from the county’s influential teachers union.
The candidates backed by the teachers’ union won, leading someone an observer to comment.
MCEA was upset that Floreen and Subin had supported delaying a 2003 cost-of-living increase that was due to teachers under their contract because of budget problems. As a result, Leventhal and challengers Elrich and Trachtenberg made the Apple Ballot, while incumbents Floreen and Subin were excluded. The Apple candidates won the top three slots, while Floreen earned the fourth seat and Subin lost. Subin’s loss was particularly notable because he was a 20-year council veteran and the long-time head of the council’s education committee.
The author concludes,
So what does the Teachers’ emergence as Montgomery County’s dominant political force mean for the future? With property tax growth slowing down, the next county council will face tough budgetary decisions. Public schools account for half of the county’s budget and would be an obvious location for cuts. But don’t expect any action there: the county’s politicians have learned that those who cross the Teachers Union once are unlikely to be given a second opportunity.
An increasing share of that budget is going to pensions and non-teaching staff who are union members. Actual classroom teachers are badly over-worked.
Because spending per student is by far the highest in the state, the WaPo constantly refers to Montgomery County as a high quality school system. However, the average outcomes in the County schools are mediocre. Students from the wealthiest parts of the County (three high schools in particular) produce good test scores, and the rest do not. Other school districts in Maryland get similar outcomes with students of similar backgrounds while spending much less money per student.
I know relatively little about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. But I see the teachers’ union as an enemy, and they see her as an enemy. Ergo, I am inclined to view her in friendly terms.