Stewart: “Teacher’s working condition is a child’s learning condition.”
Randy O’Brien of the Public News Service TN got a reaction on SB 0113/HB 0130, a bill that would outlaw collective bargaining for teachers, from State Senator Eric Stewart (District 14 – Franklin, Bledsoe, Coffee, Grundy, Sequatchie, Van Buren, and Warren Counties):
“It does not raise a single test score; it does not create a single job, which is what we’ve been talking about for years now. To me, it’s an attack against the teachers’ union, under the veil of improving test scores and making education better.”
Stewart says supporters of the bills, including the Tennessee Business Roundtable and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, should think hard about how these changes would affect students.
“They’re not just negotiating salary and benefits. They’re negotiating things like class size, equipment for their classrooms, better working conditions. One thing we need to realize is that a teacher’s working condition is a child’s learning condition.”
We will add that because of the positive influence a quality public school education has on our young people, we should always be thinking of ways to improve our education system. And because of the important role they have played in protecting our most valuable resource – the working people of Tennessee – we should always be thinking of ways to improve unions. But we should never attack hardworking teachers searching for better working conditions under the guise of improving our public education system.