The Michigan Education Association (MEA) pays close attention to School Board elections, and so should you.
The MEA is the largest union representing teachers and support staff in Michigan. The MEA and their local affiliates spend large sums of money electing their friends to local school boards. Union bosses know it is a lot easier to gain oversized pay and benefit packages if school board members are hand-picked (endorsed and elected) by the union.
The pamphlet titled "Electing Your Employer" was published by the MEA in 2007, and provides specific instructions on how to recruit and elect school board members who are beholden to the union. Utilizing the tips in this handbook, local affiliates such as the Brighton Education Association (BEA) have prepared well as they attempt to take over the Brighton School Board this November 8th.
The entire pamphlet can be viewed at http://gadsdencenter.org/images/stories/mea-electing-your-employer-pamphlet-1.pdf. It is instructive to note the initial paragraph of this pamphlet starts out as follows:
Dear Local Leader,
"Electing Your Employer," is a political activity that closely touches all of your members. Policies made by school board have a direct effect on your members' salaries, benefits, and working conditions . . .
This pamphlet emphasizes taking control of local school boards insures an easier time for union bargainers when it comes time for contract negotiations. If the BEA successfully installs its supporters on the board of education citizens can expect to see a return to the out-of-control spending that turned the Brighton Area School District into a deficit district. Using history as a guide, a union-controlled board would focus spending priorities on employee salaries, benefits, and pensions rather than improved classroom programs for students.
As with most local elections, voters don’t generally know much about school board candidates. Here is some information regarding candidates running for the school board in Brighton.
Voters residing in the Brighton Area Schools District are have several candidates to choose from this election. Independent-minded candidates who will negotiate on behalf of children and taxpayers include James Alexander, Roger Myers, and Bill Trombley. Voters can choose up to four candidates.
Note: The current Brighton School Board recently approved a $58,000 raise for a school administrator. The was nearly a 50% increase in salary. Details regarding this raise can be found at