Monday, April 27, 2009

NY Teacher's Union Funding ACORN and Working Families Party

Do the teachers in New York State even realize their union dues are going to radical groups such as ACORN and the Working Families Party?

Do they even care? I suspect if they realized the level of corruption within their own ranks they may not be too happy seeing huge chunks of money going to these very suspicious groups.
Next week, a coalition of advocacy groups will bus an army of parents into Albany for a "lobby day" against mayoral control of the city's schools -- a prime example of how Randi Weingarten's teachers' union shapes public perception and policy behind the scenes.

The May 5 event, part of the Campaign for Better Schools, is meant to show lawmakers that there's massive grass-roots opposition to Mayor Bloomberg's stewardship of the school system.

The lead organizer of the Campaign for Better Schools is the Alliance for Quality Education, whose celebrity spokeswoman is "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon.

It received $775,000 last year from the United Federation of Teachers' sister organization, New York State United Teachers, to fund a media campaign, federal Department of Labor filings show. That's on top of a $35,000 grant the UFT gave directly to the Alliance last year.

If they wanted better schools they sure have a funny way of showing it, opposing charters schools every step of the way, unless, of course, Weingarten can find a way to unionize them. Meanwhile, ACORN and the WFP are essentially on the union payroll.
ACORN, a national network of antipoverty community organizations, has worked hand in hand with Weingarten and is now taking a leadership role in the Campaign for Better Schools.

The UFT paid ACORN $406,730 to help the union organize 28,000 child-care providers that contract with the city.

Earlier this month, ACORN also helped organize protests against the proposed phase-out of PS 194 in Harlem to make way for a charter school. The Department of Education eventually caved, and the school will not be closed.

Even smaller participants in the Campaign for Better Schools receive funds from the teachers' unions. The New York Immigration Coalition accepted $15,000 last year. Another immigrant rights group, Make the Road New York, was given $5,000.

Community groups aren't the only outsiders receiving money from the UFT and its state affiliate.

The union-backed Working Families Party received $1 million from New York State United Teachers for a media campaign last year. New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, a pro-union think tank and advocacy group, received $190,000.

"I would challenge anyone in New York to find when they [ACORN, the Working Families Party, and the Alliance for Quality Education] have opposed anything on the union's agenda," said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, an advocacy group funded by proponents of charter schools.
The last time the WFP organized a bus tour they didn't get too many people to show up, but they sure as heck got plenty of media attention.

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