Teachers' jobs, paid for by cuts to food stamps - a victory?
The Democratic Party makes no mention of the food stamp cuts. It calls the legislation "a victory for cash-strapped states, parents, children and middle class families across our country." "Thank you, Congress!" crows the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The National Education Association (NEA) is just a tad less sycophantic about bill's passage, but its story gushes praise for the Democrats too --and fails to mention the food stamp cuts. The AAUP, (the American Association of University Professors) notes, correctly, that post-secondary education was short-changed in the bill and that public higher education is a right. Still, it mentions nothing about the food stamp provision when it calls for Congress "to similarly attend to maintaining and building human capacity in postsecondary education."
The NEA and AFT have allowed the Democrats to save teachers' jobs by, quite literally, stealing food from children. The bill is a giveaway to the unions only if you think that teacher unions can defeat the neoliberal onslaught by sticking to the old "bread and butter" unionism they have practiced for decades. The 140,000 saved jobs came at a very steep political cost: Teachers unions have lost legitimacy as a force capable of mounting a meaningful challenge to the barbarism that demands that kids go hungry to pay for teacher salaries.
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