Betsy DeVos's Vision Goes Way Beyond Privatizing Education

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Betsy DeVos's Vision Goes Way Beyond Privatizing Education
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Michigan went right-to-work in 2012, thanks to legislation that was ushered into the former cradle of industrial unionism via the DeVos' trademark combo of political arm twisting and largesse. Another DeVos-inspired law made it illegal for employers, including school districts, to process union dues, while simultaneously making it easier for corporations to deduct PAC money from employee paychecks. This summer the DeVoses succeeded in driving a final nail into the MEA's coffin. The GOP-controlled legislature essentially eliminated pensions, among the last tangible benefits that teachers in Michigan receive from their unions. The union leaders I spoke to when I traveled through the state last year, reporting on DeVos' education legacy, were candid about the increasingly precarious state of their organizations. But far worse lies ahead. The demise of retirement benefits means that new teachers have little incentive to join the unions; the shrinking terrain of collective bargaining gives veteran teachers lit ...

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