The Heritage Foundation is not the Republican Party. But from a conservative perspective, we believe in providing the best possible education for children. That’s why we are big supporters of things like the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, which offers a good education to students regardless of income or location. As Heritage’s Lindsey Burke wrote on this very issue:
The most recent data available show that the Michigan Education Association spent more than $7 million on political contributions, and that 86 percent of unions’ political contributions went Democrats. Some teachers might take exception to their hard-earned money being used for such partisan political purposes. But if the right-to-work legislation is implemented, teachers will have the option to control how their paychecks are spent.
Union dues range between $600 to $900 per year. Teachers shouldn’t be forced to forgo that money in order to teach.
Establishing a right-to-work law in Michigan will be the beginning of freedom for thousands of teachers across the state. As my colleague James Sherk points out, “Right-to-work laws prevent unions from imposing mandatory fees, giving employees the right to work without paying union dues. Otherwise, right-to-work has no effect on collective bargaining. All other negotiations continue as before.”
The unions recognize that when teachers aren’t forced to hand over their paychecks, that their bloated coffers will get a little lighter. That’s less money the union can use for an overtly political agenda, less money that can go to the plush salaries of union bosses, and a weakened ability to block much needed education reforms in the state.
If you’d like to look at more in-depth research on our perspective on teacher compensation, feel free to do so here.