A recent report by Complete Colorado shows that the American Federation of Teachers is dropping $600,000 to take over the Douglas County School Board. This might be the most expensive school board race in the history of the state. AFT sent this money into an organization called Douglas Schools for Douglas Kids, which is sending mailers and posting online ads in support of Krista Holtzmann, Chris Schor, Anthony Graziano as well as ACLU plaintiff-in chief, Kevin Leung. The four union-backed candidates call themselves the CommUnity Slate and have denied union involvement from the outset.
These underhanded tactics are reminiscent of Jefferson County, where the “grassroots, parent-led organization” recalled three board members who did not support the union agenda. It was only after the election did the electorate discover that the union had funded the campaign to the tune of $285,000 (that we know of). This time, the union was more transparent; although, one has to wonder why given that Douglas County is more conservative than Jefferson County.
Nonetheless, caveat emptor. Buyer beware. There is a whole slate of candidates who are the beneficiaries of union dollars from AFT. And, don’t think that AFT isn’t going to ask for a favor in the future, particularly in the form of a collective bargaining agreement, which would likely net the union a million or two million dollars in dues each year. In that context, $600,000 is nothing.
Also, don’t forget that Randi Weingarten is the head of the AFT and Weingarten compared school choice to segregation, which is only the second worst thing that an AFT leader said. Albert Shanker, head of AFT until 1997, famously claimed that he would represent the interests of children when they started paying dues.