Who is DFER? The Times says it includes the founders of hedge funds such as: Anchorage Capital Partners, with $8 billion under management; Greenlight Capital, with $6.8 billion; and Pershing Square Capital Management, with $5.5 billion. DFER is actively supporting candidates in many states who will help charter school legislation and actively opposing those who do not.Okay. Fights between rich people and impoverished unions are fundamentally unfair, like pitting Rocky against Urkel. Here’s a recent Press of Atlantic City recent update on NJEA finances:
But something about this scenario is troubling. I guess it is the fundamental unfairness of a fight in which one side has an all-star list of billionaires (and mere multi-millionaires), and the other side has parents and teachers whose resources are meager. Granted, the teachers' unions have some independent resources, but what they have to spend politically to defend public education is peanuts compared with what the billionaires spend to privatize public schools
The New Jersey Education Association collected $98.4 million in dues from its members during its 2007 tax year, as is shown on its most recent Internal Revenue Service filing, which covered Sept. 1, 2007, to Aug. 31, 2008.There’s a false dichotomy between public schools and financial success. The aroma wafting up from statements like Wollmer’s perpetuates an obsolete Hallmarkian sentiment that fiscal know-how taints the magic of learning. Yet public education costs money, especially if you want to start a charter school in NJ, which is precisely what Wollmer and NJEA want to thwart.
Those dues, paid by almost 130,000 teachers in annual increments of $731 (50,000 noncertified employees pay less), support one of the most influential lobbying forces in the state. The NJEA’s gross receipts for 2007-08, including $717,000 in proceeds from the annual convention in Atlantic City, were $131.4 million.
Labels: DFER, NJEA