How can we take seriously any proposal to improve schools that does not deal with the force that has dragged them down — the teachers union?
Detroit is a great example of the damage they have wrought. Due to the costs imposed by the union, the public school system has already had to close 59 of its 200 schools, and another 70 are slated for closure. The result will be eighth-grade classes of 40 children and high school classes predicted to have more than 60 students.
Detroit will actually now have to pay teachers more to compensate them for their bigger class sizes.
Governors throughout the country are getting it, even if the president is not. Rick Scott in Florida, John Kasich in Ohio, Mitch Daniels in Indiana, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Chris Christie of New Jersey have all proposed major new initiatives to promote school choice.
Can our cities and states free themselves from the ropes with which the unions have bound them? The problem is that states cannot abrogate contracts. It’s in the Constitution. But a federal bankruptcy court can. So to free ourselves of the ties that bind, we need Congress to create a procedure for federal Chapter 9 voluntary bankruptcy for states.