Like Clockwork, It’s Time for Another Charter School Unionization Story

Now it’s the New York Times, with a story on loan from the Chicago News Cooperative.

I won’t repeat myself, but merely point you to a two-year-old post which also dealt with Chicago.

Today’s story coincides not only with a piece in the Chicago Tribune about traditional Illinois public schools without unions, but with “Teachers unions rally against charter schools” (Detroit) and “Tempers flare over hiking cap on charters” (North Carolina).

Unions will always be able to pick off the low-hanging fruit when it comes to charters, but wholesale unionization will never happen until the unions overcome what I’ve termed their “We Hate You, Come Join Us!” problem. Union presidents can’t say charters are “second-rate schools with second-rate teachers, which will equate to a second-rate education,” and then expect those second-rate teachers to pay first-rate dues.

The Times article does provide this factoid:

Nationally, 604 charter schools, roughly 12 percent, have collective-bargaining agreements. But 388 of those schools are in states where the law dictates that charters be included in existing collective-bargaining agreements with local districts, according to data collected by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

So the real concern for charters is not that unions will infiltrate schools one-by-one until they take over; it’s that they’ll alter the state law so that charters must be covered by collective bargaining agreements.