By Cherl K. ChumleyMembers of the nation’s largest teachers unions — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are pushing to organize in charter schools in several cities around the nation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the efforts are particularly underway in Chicago, San Diego and Philadelphia.
Labor leaders say they are trying to make inroads into charter schools because teachers are complaining about low pay and subpar working conditions, Newsmax reported. Political watchers, however, suggest a different reason: Union membership has hit record lows, and leaders are scrambling to find new sources of funding.
An estimated 12 percent of the nation’s charter schools are unionized.
So far, Chicago’s charter schools have opened their doors to the idea of unionization. The United Neighborhood Organization in that city is giving the AFT contact information for 400 teachers and agreeing to a union meeting on school grounds, Newsmax reported.