Democrat legislators in California have introduced a bill that would offer educators major tax breaks, exempting teachers from paying the state income tax – the equivalent of a 4% to 6% salary increase – after five years in the classroom. They couch the move as an effort to combat the state’s growing teacher shortage.
Beside the fact that once one labor union faction gets a gigantic perk like this all the others start demanding similar special treatment, this move segregates educators into an elevated special interest group. The move treats teachers - and all who would fall under the legislation - differently under the law than every other California resident.
It would only be a matter of time before other public sector factions demanded similar treatment. First responders, public works employees, you name it, would be screeching about "fairness," and rightly so. To carve out a tax exemption of a designated group is a political move, not an incentive.
I would hope that this measure fails miserably in the California legislature, but their culture is so foreign to equal protection under the law (and the Constitution) for all that anything could happen. Then, only litigation can affect equality by deeming the move unconstitutional, but being a State issue...
In a deja vu moment hearkening the late 1950s and early 1960s, Democrats blocked the reformer Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, from entering a Washington, DC, school. The image of Democrats blocking the school entrance conjured images of the Civil Rights movement and racist Democrats in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia blocking Black students from entering schools.
And so we have another example of how the "progressive" Democrats push back against change that will serve everyone. Far from the false-flag narrative that Progressives and Democrats are hawking against Betsy DeVos, she champions an "all of the above" philosophy to education. She supports equal opportunity for all children in every venue of education: public, charter and private.
But because she opposes the stranglehold that the teachers unions have on urban schools, she is being demonized as anti-public school, which is not the case.
The teachers unions have ceased being about the classroom and have embraced their new role as a Progressive PAC. While teachers themselves are left to navigate a growing list of demands for data generation, the execution of differentiation of instruction for an impossible number of students and multiple discipline schemes - just for a single classroom, the teachers unions are too busy playing politics, inciting ideological division and promoting untruths about those who do not march lockstep in their political world.
Just like our health insurance and tax systems, our education system needs to be radically restructured and two major steps in the right direction is the expunging of teacher union dominance in urban schools and an abandonment of the "grade" system in deference to a modular curriculum where each child can learn at his or her own pace without the classroom catering to the lowest common denominator.
Illinois’ pension debt has skyrocketed to $130 billion in 2016. That is up from $111 billion in 2015. This information comes by way of theCommission on Government Forecasting & Accountability. That means that State pension funds now have only 38 cents on hand for every dollar they need today to pay out future benefits.
This is the land of Chicago politics, Barack Obama and Saul Alinsky. It is a State government owned by labor unions and Progressive activists. All that understood, is it any wonder that the State is in the financial abyss that it's in?
Additionally, this pension debt is only going to get worse, as unions manhandle Progressive and Liberal Democrat politicians in the State's capital and Chicago. Adding a turbo-charge to that is the fact that corporate and personal taxes are so high in Illinois that many companies and residents are leaving for more tax friendly States.
Balanced budget amendments and tax reforms - both personal and corporate - are the only salvation for States like Illinois, California and New York. They exist in a state of spendthrift, and unless there is radical change (and that only comes from courageous leadership, something politicians seldom understand) these States will collapse, laying in wait for the next Left-leaning federal administration so they can request bailouts.