The war of words between the Commonwealth Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers escalated yet again today.
Commonwealth Foundation, a think-tank which specializes in advocating free-market policies, placed ads in several PA newspapers accusing the AFT of using taxpayer money to lie.
Last week, the AFT ran ads in the same newspapers that scolded Governor Corbett for closing schools and firing thousands of teachers.
“The truth is, state funding for schools is at an all-time high and the mythical ‘cuts’ the AFT complains of was federal stimulus money that everyone knew was temporary,” said Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation and former high school teacher.
The organization also asserted that the AFT paid for the ads using public funds.
“What’s worse, this latest political smear by AFT was paid for using teachers’ dues money that taxpayers helped collect through automatic payroll deduction from teachers’ paychecks,” Brouillette continued. “Unfortunately, teachers had no say in whether or not to participate in the AFT’s deceptions.”
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from AFT regarding these allegations.
Commonwealth used this episode to bring attention to “paycheck protection”, one of their pet issues. Paycheck protection would seek to end the collection of dues by the government. It’s possible that this proposal could leave teacher’s unions with less funds overall as they would be responsible for collection and disbursement.
In effect, this issue is another volley in the long-running battle between the conservative think-tank and the labor union.