The new school year has begun for students in Lake Forest Districts 115 and 67, not unlike in schools districts across Illinois.
Presently residents and taxpayers in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff are fixed on the looming teacher strike by District 115 high school teachers, unless a compromise can forged between the District 115 board and the LFEA, which gets its marching orders from the IEA (Illinois Education Association).
Unknown by many residents and taxpayers is that the IEA is the state affiliate of the National Education Association and as such functions as a franchise of the NEA.
Teachers belonging to the IEA automatically belong to the NEA. Part of their member IEA dues, by requirement, are sent on to the NEA, who allocates the collected dues nationwide to push for Democrat candidates and also to lobby for concessions at the federal level.
Here in Illinois the IEA supports state Democrat candidates and also puts money and support into local school board races, no doubt in an effort to co-opt board members.
Teachers in Lake Forest School Districts 115 and 67 are members of the IEA. This is true for teachers in most school districts across the state of Illinois.
LFHS teachers are faced with a dilemma, particularly since, as I recently learned, the initial vote to strike by the teachers was an open vote.
Teachers who are not in favor of striking hesitate going public with that view, as they fear retaliation from the strong and powerful union. Only three teachers dared to do so at LFHS.
Just what does the IEA represent as a franchise of the NEA? Both are liberal organizations which support the Democrat Party and the Obama administration's agenda, although not necessarily their members, and certainly not for the benefit of the students.
Following is the IEA Legislative Platform for 2012-2013 approved by the IEA Representative Assembly on March l7, 2012. It is a 40-page diatribe outlining, in no uncertain terms, what the IEA stands for and supports.
Quickly scanning through the 40 pages I found the following nuggets to share: www.ieanea.org/media/2012/08/2012-2013-Legislative-Platform.pdf <http://www.ieanea.org/media/2012/08/2012-2013-Legislative-Platform.pdf>
51: The Association shall work to prevent the hiring of any replacement personnel during a strike.
140: The Association supports the "green schools" concept in school construction , etc., and promotes solar energy and other renewable energy sources and Earth Day.
166: The Association shall achieve the efficient purchase of comprehensive health care insurance benefits for our members, while simultaneously increasing salary levels.
185: The Association supports tenure at all educational levels.
485: The Association opposes tuition tax credits for students who attend private or parochial schools and all voucher plans, both of which erode the states' support of public education.
847: The Association opposes legislation that would mandate education employees to report alleged immigration violations.
875: The Association opposes home schooling because such programs lack state oversight.
As stated earlier on, IEA members automatically belong to the NEA, as does a percentage of their dues, which has its own liberal agenda in the vein of the one enacted by the IEA as a NEA franchise.
There isn't a snowball's chance that Governor Quinn will ever challenge the IEA and its union clout in a meaningful way as did Governor Walker of Wisconsin, as unions represent the "bread and butter" of the Democrat Party here in Illinois.
But will District 115 have what it takes to defy the IEA, as the IEA and the local union are in cahoots to wrangle an agreement from LF District 115 that is perceived to be too rich by many at a time of belt-tightening and a down economy for private sector workers, even in the upscale communities of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff?
If so, this could start a positive effect if other school districts who are struggling to keep teacher salaries in check are emboldened to do the same.
Part 2: An introduction to the Common Core Program District 67 and 115