OT: California Teachers taking on the California Teachers Union and Vouchers

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Submitted by paramount on April 13, 2014 - 10:26pm

Submitted by CA renter on April 14, 2014 - 1:44am.

Really, paramount? You want to do this all over, again?

The Center for Individual Rights, Friedrichs’ legal sponsor, is backed by numerous right-wing foundations, including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Randolph Foundation and the Carthage and Sarah Scaife foundations (both controlled by ALEC-bankrolling billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife). If CIR’s lawsuit is successful, the relatively modest investment in backing the suit could accomplish what the $60.5 million effort to pass Prop. 32 could not – the erosion of public-sector unions as a political force. (Prop. 32′s opponents were forced to spend about $75 million to defeat that measure.)...

...CIR’s primary client in Friedrichs, the Christian Educators Association International, is run by its executive director, former public school teacher Finn Laursen, from his home in Amherst, Ohio. Positioning itself as a professional teachers association and an alternative to membership in the National Education Association, the CEAI provides some union-like benefits for its members, such as professional liability insurance.

But CEAI also apparently offers its public school teacher members training in how to proselytize their evangelical beliefs to their students. In a video on the website for CEAI’s 40-day seminar in Minnesota called the Daniel Leadership Institute, Laursen says part of the group’s mission is to “change the public education system from within.” Elsewhere on the promotional clip, various California public school teachers are seen praising the retreat for teaching them “how we can share God’s love and truth with our students,” how “to bring them to truth,” and “how to express [the teachers’] Christian lifestyles and biblical values in the classroom.”

In response to a request for an interview, Laursen replied by email, “would love to accommodate, but I am at 40 day teacher training in the wilderness of MN with no phone access…just came out of woods for brief internet access.” He forwarded a copy of CEAI’s press release issued at the time the lawsuit was filed.

Although marbled with phrases about Constitutional rights and personal choice, the CIR lawsuit is clearly about more than the First Amendment. Friedrichs v. CTA comes at a time when California’s Republican Party is shrinking into electoral irrelevance, while at the same time many corporations are pushing Congress to nullify the state’s pioneering laws regulating workplace safety, consumer protection and the environment.


Submitted by CA renter on April 16, 2014 - 7:13pm.

Harry Bradley was one of the original charter members of the far right-wing John Birch Society, along with another Birch Society board member, Fred Koch, the father of Koch Industries' billionaire brothers and owners, Charles and David Koch.[5]

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “from 2001 to 2009, it [Bradley] doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined.”[6]


The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an American conservative foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it gives away more than $30 million per year. The Foundation has financed efforts to support federal institutes, publications and school choice and educational projects. Since the 1980s and today the Bradley Foundation funds organizations which dismantle enviornmental regulations and funds educational programs directed to promote US military expenditures and actions. The Bradley for the "enviornment" foundation funds legal actions to block newly recognized endangered species from being registered.



And more "free/private market" types (now deceased) who made most of their money courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer...

In 1944, the various Olin companies were organized under a new corporate parent, Olin Industries, Inc.[2] At the time, Olin Industries and its subsidiary companies ran the St. Louis Arsenal; and contributed to the war effort with manufacturing roles at the Badger Army Ammunition and Lake City Army Ammunition Plants. Olin's New Haven and East Alton plants employed about 17,000 workers each—producing the guns and small-caliber ammunition needed during World War II. The war production helped the Olins to become one of the wealthiest American families of the time.



[Edited to fix italics.]

Submitted by CA renter on April 14, 2014 - 2:25am.

Most importantly, NOBODY is forcing Ms. Friedrichs to pay union dues. One would think that with 25 years of teaching experience, she could easily find a job in one of the many non-union private schools and charters (even some that are publicly funded!).

So...why has she waited 25 years to find a job in a school where there is no union and no union dues? Perhaps she wanted to be sure she qualified for her pension and healthcare benefits first? The ultimate hypocrite!

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