Just a shop teacher? Not hardly

Originally posted at the Toledo Blade

Michigan’s right-to-work law stripped the teachers’ union of the power that could have saved my father’s job

This past school year, for the first time in 38 years, my father didn’t step inside a classroom. On the last day of the previous school year, he was laid off.

A victim of Michigan’s new “right to work” law, my dad didn’t even get advance warning so he could tell his students. It was a sad day, but not just for him: Although his school district may save some money, the community will lose in the long run.

School districts are hurting for cash, especially in Michigan, where the state budget has allocated less money for schools. Because Michigan is right-to-work, tenured teachers with bigger paychecks are more easily let go.

My father didn’t get into teaching for the paycheck. Continue reading…