Kitty Boitnott

NEA/VEA Come Clean, Admit Real Purpose (Hint: It's Not About Education)

Sometimes we find things that our opposition says or does that are just too revealing not to expose to the public at large. For example, NARAL's fascinating linguistic gymnastics. Now, an astounding admission from the NEA/VEA that confirms what we, and other education reformers, have said for years: That the VEA is about educators, not education. Unlike how the VEA poses, it is not about anything resembling education, much less improving it. Quite simply, the VEA is a union. Not a think tank. Not a "for the children" organization. The VEA is a union and is about union membership. But don't take our word for it. Here is an admission straight from the mouth of the NEA's retiring chief counsel, in 2009:

And that brings me to my final, and most important point. Which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates. Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

Pretty blatantly stated. But there it is: The NEA/VEA has one goal — the financial and professional betterment of its members, which in turn increases its power. If achievement of its goals requires advocacy for higher education standards or better classroom environments to achieve its union goal, it will pursue what it must. But don’t be fooled. Such advocacy is an inconvenient diversion to its accumulation of power and political goals.

To successfully dismantle the VEA's power in Virginia politics, we must defund it and alternative teacher organizations hold the key. One such alternative is Virginia Professional Educators, a professional organization that offers better insurance policies and other benefits without supporting liberal causes and candidates (click here for more information). As long as teachers continue to send dues to the VEA, it will continue to hire its 30-plus lobbyists in Richmond every year where they then proceed to undermine school choice efforts, push for higher taxes and, incredibly, involve itself in issues that have nothing to do with public education, such as promoting abortion and homosexual marriage. (Improving education? What's that?)

Self-assessments from our opposition are fascinating. Sometimes the honesty in their words is revealing. Take note of the deflated words delivered in an April 2010 speech by VEA President Kitty Boitnott:

This year, our [General Assembly] 'wins' are better measured by what we prevented from happening. ... the VEA has lost members in significant numbers this year due to a whole host of reasons . . . along with the external challenges of having few friends in high places, we have also been suffering from an internal malaise of sorts in many of our very own local affiliates. ... I do not believe that I overstate the case when I say that public education is under siege. It is being attacked at every corner, and there are those who would not only under fund public education . . . but they would dismantle public education in favor of alternative avenues. ...

By its own admission, teachers are wising up and leaving the VEA and, in turn, the VEA is feeling the heat. No longer is it advancing its leftist agenda at the expense of hard working, well meaning teachers. Instead, it's on the defensive. As we've said before, the VEA's worst nightmare — education freedom — is coming to Virginia. It's a matter of when, not if. The Family Foundation and our educational freedom allies are continuing to build a convincing case for school choice in Virginia. We will not relent until Virginia families are given the opportunity to freely choose the best educational option for their children.

VEA: Choice Supporters Are Bigots

Our friends at the VEA must know in their hearts that the end is near. For ages they've been sticking to their deceptive yet effective message that school choice will "drain money from public schools," but as choice proponents have been proving the opposite is true (see Thomas Jefferson Institute), anti-choicers are starting to become unhinged. Enter VEA President Kitty Boitnott. Always good for an off the wall remark, Ms. Boitnott was recently quoted as saying concerning the school choice movement, "I really believe there is an underlying bigotry at the bottom of it all" (see Richmond Times-Dispatch).

Here we go again. If you support anything, anything that isn't government owned and operated, you must be a bigot, a racist, a "fill in the blank." So, if you favor allowing children to attend the school of their parent's choice, the one that fits their needs best, the one that provides the best opportunity for their success, well of course your a bigot. I mean come on, its sooooo obvious.

Note to Ms. Boitnott: The children that are benefiting from every school choice program in existence in the nation are from minority neighborhoods!!! The scholarship programs, the tax credits, the, dare I say, vouchers, that are available in other states and the District of Columbia are helping minority kids!!! 

I guess in Ms Boitnott's convoluted world, providing an opportunity for a child in an urban area that is not government owned and operated is bigotry. Of course, in a post-modern world where words have no absolute meaning, such a proclamation is widely accepted. Bigotry is now defined as providing opportunity.

No wonder the VEA can't seem to read. They simply don't know the real meaning of words.

The VEA: We Teach The Children, But We Still Need To Learn How To Read Ourselves

Oh, boy, this is too funny and the headline possibilities are endless. Feel free to suggest some on your own. This is what's gone down since Monday involving the Virginia Education Association Fund and the lieutenant governor's campaign: On Monday, the VEA Fund president, Kitty Boitnott, issued a statement announcing that organization's endorsement of Democrat Jody Wagner over Republican incumbent Bill Bolling. Big surprise there, huh? In the endorsement, Dr. Boitnott wrote this about the lieutenant governor's record when he was in the Virginia Senate:

Lieutenant Governor Bolling had a 49.66% VEA voting record in his ten regular sessions and two special sessions in the Senate of Virginia. Notable votes include:

• Voted against paying Virginia's teachers the national average salary (2004 - SB 1285)

Uhhh, small problem with that . . . as in, there was no SB 1285 in 2004. There was a SB 1285 in 2005, however, to raise teacher salaries, but . . .

Ooooops! . . .

 

Bolling voted . . .

For it!

 

You know, it's not real hard to read the vote totals of a General Assembly vote — especially when it was adopted unanimously! You see, they have one line for all the "Yeas" and another for all the "Neas" (see here.) When all names are listed in the "Yeas" and none are listed in the "Neas," it's pretty difficult to misread that.

Yesterday, the VEA Fund issued a correction by e-mail, but it's not posted on its Web site (unless it's in an out of the way place), while the original news release with the incorrect information remains. But, like all good comedies, there's more. The desperate Wagner campaign immediately jumped on the news release and began touting the incorrect information. As of a few minutes ago the VEA Fund's release, with the incorrect claim about Lieutenant Governor Bolling's record, remained prominently in place on Wagner's home pagewithout a correction.

We already knew Wagner couldn't do math — as Governor Tim Kaine's finance secretary she consistently missed revenue projections that have led to a cumulative budget deficit of around $6 billion, and required several in-year cuts. (As of yesterday, per the governor himself, another $1.5 billion in cuts will be announced in September, and the fiscal year only began on July 1.) But now, apparently, her campaign is proving equally inept at fact checking because it's being led by an organization for teachers that can't read.

National Education Association's Top Lawyer Touts Its Real Purpose

The founder and chairman of the American Family Association, Don Wildmon, today released this open letter to teachers who belong to the NEA. There's some good advice here. Most tellingly, however, is the utter contempt and vile that hyper liberal statists, such as those who represent the NEA leadership, have for every day, hard working people who believe in traditional family values. Please read on:

The National Education Association's top lawyer, Bob Chanin, recently made clear the goal of the NEA. He called those who believe in and work for traditional family values "b****rds." He also praised the NEA because the organization has "power" and "hundreds of millions" of dollars from dues to spend in promoting their agenda and political candidates. I have included an article which shows, in their own words, what the NEA is doing. It is time for Christians who are members of the NEA to get out. We are funding the demise of Western Civilization. Please read this article! (Click here.)

Chanin's volley left no doubt where the NEA wants to take the public education system, and our children. It also served as a wake-up call for those who might be considering taking their children out of public schools.

If you are a member of NEA, I suggest you contact some more teacher friends and discuss this matter with them.

If you need legal help, I suggest you contact one of the two organizations listed below:

Liberty Council (click here)

Alliance Defense Fund (click here)

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman American Family Association

P.S. Many members of the NEA are not aware how the NEA is using their dues to promote leftwing politics. They can drop their membership in the NEA and secure many of the same benefits by joining other professional organizations which offer the same benefits.

The Association of American Educators is one (click here).

Also, Christian Educators offers many of the same benefits (click here).

In addition to Mr. Wildmon's suggestions, in this commentary two weeks ago, which stirred the wrath of Virginia Education Association President Kitty Boitnott, we encouraged teachers in Virginia to look into joining Virginia Professional Educators (click here).