by Jon Riches
Observing that New Jersey governor Phil Murphy fired Paula White, an eminently qualified commissioner at the Department of Education, because she supported tenure reform and charter schools, the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently lamented that the teachers’ union in New Jersey is “the real boss in Trenton.” Sadly, the union’s power goes beyond control over just one politician. And by coopting political leaders, the union has coopted New Jersey tax dollars to finance its own private activities.
For decades, taxpayers have been footing the bill for New Jersey’s unions, including its state and local teachers’ unions, in a practice called “release time.” Under release time, school districts and other public agencies allow employees to be released from the government jobs for which they were hired, and work exclusively for their private union. They are allowed to perform this union work full-time or part-time — all while receiving full government pay, benefits, and retirement.
Read the full piece at National Review Online here.
Jon Riches is the director of national litigation at the Goldwater Institute.