All three campuses of City on a Hill Charter Schools (two in Boston, one in New Bedford) have now voted to join the Boston Teachers Union. The COAH educators and staff now join the BTU, a union that hates charter schools with the fire of a thousand suns, with the expectation that they will now be capable of representing their best interests while also attacking the very schools they are employed by.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think charter school teachers should get paid more than they do. Quite frankly, the results are worth it. I’m fine with having that conversation. But joining the BTU? Isn’t that like biting off your nose to spite your face?
Interestingly enough, the press release from the BTU quotes two ELL teachers.
But wait a minute — COAH has ELL teachers?
Haven’t we been listening to the BTU tell us for years about how charter schools don’t even SERVE ELL kids?
The press release also slams the COAH board, which is filled with folks who volunteer their time to serve, and attacks them for having day jobs that include successful companies:
According to their website, the corporate CoaH Board of Directors and City on a Hill Board of Trustees who oversee the CoaH facilities that attempted to crush the organizing efforts of underpaid teachers include current executives, former executives, and retirees at MFS Investment Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Pioneer Institute, Ernst and Young, Liberty Mutual, The Baupast Group, Foley Hoag LLP, and Hyde Park Ventures LLC which owns Five Guys and Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Arkansas. Specifically, the City on a Hill Foundation Board of Directors includes multiple executives from MFS Investment Management, which had $448.7 billion in assets under management as of April 30, 2017, according to MFS.com.
I guess it would be better to have a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees filled with people who … I don’t know … work for failed businesses? Aren’t capable of running companies? Aren’t successful?
Well that’s going to be one FUN bargaining table!
Here’s one of the quotes from BTU President, Jessica Tang:
“This is a victory for students, parents, and educators at the City on a Hill schools. It is disappointing that CoaH officials wasted precious education resources on union-busting tactics and campaigning. We hope the management of the school will take a new, respectful approach to their treatment of these valuable and talented educators moving forward.”
I’m not really sure how this is a victory for parents and students. I think in the end, this is going to end up throwing the schools into chaos and kids and parents will be caught in the crossfire of a union fight.
But does anyone else find it interesting how charter school teachers — often vilified by district school teachers as being unqualified and sub-par are suddenly “valuable and talented educators” once they join the union?
So what happens now? Will the BTU be fighting for funding for a more fair and equitable funding formula that now includes charter schools? Will they be fighting to give them access to the state’s school building fund so that charters will have access to money needed for their facilities? Will they stop attacking charter schools for the mere fact that they exist? And what do existing members think about their new brothers and sisters? Will they be welcomed with open arms?
Stay tuned …