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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Did you know that the teacher's union influences school board elections?

What does it mean for the union to influence school board races?

According to the Manhattan Institute, the union wins 7 out of 10 races where they exert their influence. According to this study, "union-endorsed candidates do not win simply because they are stronger candidates ex ante, but in part, because union support makes them more formidable candidates on Election Day."

But WHY does union influence make a union-endorsed candidate a more formidable opponent? According to, the teacher's union donates to Democrats 94% of the time. PSEA (PA State Education Association, the union at the state level) spent 80% of the $64.5 million they collected in 2021 on politics and lobbying.

The deep pockets and political influence means that the teacher's union:

  • hand-picks school boards via political endorsements;

  • funnels money (94% of the time) to primarily Democrats, resulting in school boards controlled* by Democrats;

  • get candidates elected who are aligned with the priorities of the union.

Shouldn't school board candidates be aligned with the priorities of students and academic achievement, instead of being aligned with union priorities? Shouldn't parents and taxpayers have more influence over the school board than the union?

Spoiler Alert: Back to Basics candidates will never accept a union endorsement, nor will we accept union donations. When we are elected, we will prioritize addressing academic decline, pursue academic excellence for all, and include parents as partners in their child's education.

*This is true for the WCASD school board where there are currently 8 Democrats to 1 Republican. Back to Basics believes that the board should be balanced. We don't want to see a board controlled by any political party.

PS: Teachers . . . the average teacher pays nearly $1000 annually in union dues. This means that $800 of your dues go towards funding progressive causes. If you're tired of the union using dues to fund causes that run counter to your viewpoints, then consider leaving the union. You can find out more here, and you can find out how to resign from the union here.


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