The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the country’s second largest teachers’ union, is trying to push its way into DCSD under cover of a soon to be attempted school board recall. This goal is part of the AFT’s long-term left-wing attempt to infiltrate our district–such as pouring $600k into our 2017 school board race, and regularly meeting with former Superintendent Corey Wise as Kallie Leyba (AFT’s Colorado Executive Director) did.
The main point is that the AFT and their allies are now trying to create division and fear to oust duly elected school board members– subverting the will of the Douglas County voter to blaze a pathway to power in DCSD.
This effort is continuing today. Ms. Leyba was present at the recent union-led “sickout” meeting which planned to “disable the district” to “gain power”, and where Kathy Dorman (AFT’s VP in CO) tried to assuage teachers’ concerns by stating every child “will be equally behind”. Interesting that the minority three school board members seemed to plan their communication in conjunction with this AFT-led protest call.
The AFT seems to have its sights set especially on Douglas County, as Ms. Leyba, Ms. Dorman, and four other members of AFT's state-level leadership all came from the Douglas County Federation teachers’ union
The main point is that the AFT and their allies are now trying to create division and fear to oust duly elected school board members– subverting the will of the Douglas County voter to blaze a pathway to power in DCSD. They’re hoping to repeat the union playbook used in Jefferson County in 2015. Let’s not fall for it here.
The new board majority that we elected is the bulwark against this left-wing union power grab. Why is that important? Well let’s remind ourselves why unions like the AFT don’t act in the best interests of kids, parents, or teachers.
The AFT and other unions actively worked to keep schools closed to in-person learning during the pandemic. This was despite the science showing that schools weren’t superspreaders, and despite the proven academic and mental harm that remote learning caused our kids. So much for supporting students.
The AFT also wants to constrict school choice for families. They oppose the growth of charter public schools despite the fact that charters often successfully close achievement gaps, create more choice for teachers, and get strong support from parents across demographics. Why oppose charter schools then? Because family and teacher choice is a threat to union control.
Furthermore, while the majority of Colorado students aren’t grade-level proficient in reading and math, the AFT would rather teach kids how their skin color dictates their privilege or victim-hood. Ibram Kendi, a preeminent critical race theorist, recently headlined AFT’s national conference. Kendi states “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination” and that to be anti-racist you must also be anti-capitalist. The majority of parents reject this regressive thinking, yet the AFT is actively pushing Kendi’s mentality into schools.
If they’re not serving kids’, parents’, or teachers’ best interests, who is the AFT working for? It seems like it’s the Democrat party. So far in 2022 (continuing a trend since the ‘90s), 99% of the AFT’s campaign contributions have gone to Democrats, each year spending millions of dollars not on the teachers that fund them but instead on political lobbying and crony favoritism.
We can support teachers without supporting teachers’ unions.
This is not simply a national-level phenomenon that we can ignore locally. The AFT and their allies are trying to subvert the will of the voter in Douglas County in order to gain control, and our teachers, parents, and kids would bear the cost. Let’s resist their upcoming recall efforts and stand tall for Douglas County values.