In Culver City, Calif., a local union wants to force unionization of — get this — parent volunteers at the local public schools. At several schools in the city, parents have banded together to form non-profit booster clubs to fundraise for and hire part-time teacher’s helpers, who also mostly come from the ranks of the parents themselves.

The local union — the Culver City Association of Classified Employees — is not OK with that kind of initiative. The union wants the parents to continue to fundraise, but to send the funds directly to the school district so the district can then hire union employees to fill the part-time positions. As the union’s scheme makes clear, the school district presently doesn’t have the money to hire anyone to fill the roles parents have voluntarily filled. The parent volunteers aren’t stealing existing jobs from union employees. . . .

If the union has its way, parents will have to raise even more funds to cover the additional costs of union dues, administrative overhead and higher union wages — but they’ll have no say over hiring, control, supervision or decision-making. What’s to incentivize the fundraising in that scenario? As likely as not, parents will just stop putting forth the effort to raise funds in the first place — and students will lose the benefit of the added help in the classroom.

Take your kids out of public school. Or better yet, leave California for some place without overweening public employee unions. Meanwhile, California should fire ’em all and privatize. But it won’t. Until it hits bottom, anyway. “It’s compassion and concern for all taxpayers that motivates efforts to limit the power of public employee unions.”

As Poul Anderson once wrote, “compassionate government” is a code-phrase meaning that there will be absolutely no compassion toward the taxpayer.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

My two kids go to Culver City schools. My daughter’s is a well-regarded language-immersion school where the teachers’ aides come in handy for teaching Spanish (and Japanese). It’s funny to watch tragically liberal Westside parents suddenly outraged by a public union’s actions.

By the way, Culver City schools are much better than L.A. Unified – but that’s like saying it’s “the garden spot of Ceti Alpha 6”.


MORE: Another reader writes:

In the last two days you’ve had at least two posts in which you have suggested mass firings of public school teachers. I’m a public school teacher in Oregon, so your frustration with the public schools saddens me, but only because, alas, it is justified. To pick one example from many candidates, watching the buffoonery in Wisconsin for this past year has made me cringe, since I can appreciate the impact such behavior has on public opinion in general.

I am not a “member” of the NEA, which means my paycheck is pilfered to the tune of $70 or so a month for union dues (I live in a right to work state) but I have none of the benefits of membership, which would require a PAC contribution.
As much as I wince whenever I hear or read attacks on teachers, we bring it on ourselves. So, carry on. Some day the whole stinking structure will collapse and we can rebuild it better.

Public employee unions ruin everything they touch. FDR was right about them.