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And the money wins…

Last week, New York held its school board elections. If you asked the average person ten years ago who their school board members were, most would say they had no idea. But that has all changed thanks to the teachers unions’ concerted effort to push politics into schools and to pick fights with parents.

Even before schools were closed because of covid, parents across the country were waking up to the importance of who was on their local school board. They’ve also started to realize how unions have highjacked these local boards.

For example, this year in New York there were more candidates running for school board seats and higher voter turnout than ever before. Unions recognized the danger this posed to them, and –as any good political organization would do—they went all in to make sure their candidates won. Unfortunately, parents don’t have a well-funded union or a political action committee. Saratoga Springs City School District provides an example of this; the candidates with the most power and money behind them won, leaving parents without a voice on the school board.

The teachers union funded mass mailings for the candidates they endorsed—with mailers for the same candidates also coming from the state Democratic Committee (even though school board elections are supposed to be non-partisan in New York).

Brigette Herbst

Brigette Herbst is the Senior Organizing Director of Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2018, Brigette’s career included working in the public sector for New York State, teaching elementary school, coaching high school sports, and working as a municipal county employee. This unique experience offers Brigette an inside perspective on public employee culture in New York. She focuses on educating New Yorkers about their constitutional rights with regard to union membership and promoting fair treatment of workers. Brigette has her bachelor’s degree in history and politics and her master’s degree in elementary education. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and planning trips for her family.