Indiana the latest to curtail collective bargaining and reclaim control over schools
INDIANAPOLIS – There is growing sentiment within the education reform movement that the time has passed for compromise with teachers unions.
Union leaders have proven, over and over, that they will not sign on to the comprehensive list of changes necessary to improve public schools, and they won’t make enough financial concessions to help schools maintain adequate programs for students.
So voters in several states, particularly in the Great Lakes region, have elected governors and legislatures who are willing to play hardball and force union cooperation.
Hard-line lawmakers have effectively checked union power in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, Idaho, Michigan and a scattering of other states.
Now Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, state Superintendent Tony Bennett and their allies are enacting a no-nonsense agenda.
The centerpiece of the Indiana education package, Senate Bill 575, was approved by the legislature last week and signed by Daniels late yesterday. It limits the topics of collective bargaining for teachers unions to salary and benefits.
The Indiana State Teachers Association and its allies have been screaming about the bill for months. Democratic lawmakers in the state House copied their Wisconsin comrades and hid out in Illinois to prevent a vote on the bill. There have been numerous loud union rallies at the state Capitol and other points around the state.
But all of the protests did not stop SB 575 from having a very positive effect, even before it was signed into law.
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