Teachers Unions Take In Major Government Subsidies
After considerable influence during the Coronavirus pandemic, major teachers’ unions retain specific subsidies from state governments even as the same unions push for higher taxes on Americans.
One of the largest teachers’ unions, the United Federation of Teachers, received almost $17 million in tax breaks while calling for higher taxes in New York state.
This includes abatements of property tax and additional credits due to its ownership in two wealthy areas in Manhattan. A New York Post report shows that the union received at least 129 such tax breaks or refunds just from the City of New York. One was almost $700,000 in total.
The Post also reported that since public records only go back to 2009, it is likely that the tax rebates were far larger. Ironically, the report also states that the union filed at least 33 lawsuits against New York city over the last twenty years to reduce its property tax bill.
The latest news shows the direct and indirect influence of the major public sector unions. The teachers’ unions have arguably the most sway on state and local governments compared to other government employees.The teachers’ unions’ influence played a significant role in education during the pandemic. Such unions, from the top to bottom, supported major COVID-19 restrictions — including keeping schools closed.
The unions’ efforts extended well beyond the original 2020 lockdown, with some schools even pushing for mandatory mask usage even into 2023.
Teachers’ unions supported a number of key lockdown measures, including working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to make it happen, according to Republican investigations.
A 2022 report by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, showed the cooperation between the DCD and a key teacher’s union.
The report stated that the Biden Administration allowed the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to have serious influence in the 2021 CDC guidance under President Biden. This included provisions for further in-person school closures, which, according to AFT President Randi Weingarten, was “keeping in mind Equal Employment Opportunity concerns.”