First Charters, Now the AFL-CIO

A recent post here by Eduwonk referred to a connection between religious institutions and charter schools. This fascinating L.A. Times story highlights the labor movement’s hope that God will help boost union membership nationwide. The story notes that this isn’t entirely new, giving a nod to Cesar Chavez’ work with religious leaders, among others. But I was really hoping someone would offer up a quote about how Jesus was a carpenter and look what The Man did to him, afterall.

The whole thing reminded me of one of my favorite religious experiences at an event packed with public school teachers. At the 1998 NEA Representative Assembly in New Orleans, a local rabbi led an invocation in which 10,000 teacher delegates prayed to their maker for protection from vouchers and tuition tax credits.

Meanwhile, teachers all over America this summer are having trouble sleeping over this whole Wal-Mart boycott thing. Actually, they insist it isn’t a full-fledged boycott, but rather a national “Wake Up Wal-Mart” campaign. For years, activists have been urging teachers to spend their cash elsewhere because of Walton-family support for charter schools and school choice. It doesn’t seem to have crippled the retail giant yet, and expect this campaign to be as successful as the union’s work in the last few presidential campaigns. This Orlando Sentinel story quotes David DeMond, president of the Orange County Teachers Association, offering one possible explanation: Where he lives, there ARE no other stores.

-Joe Williams

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