HomePoliticsLOCAL TEACHERS HIGHLY CRITICAL OF CLARK COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Politics LOCAL TEACHERS HIGHLY CRITICAL OF CLARK COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Feb 18, 2020 Not every teacher in Las Vegas is on board with the Clark County Education Association’s (The Teacher’s Union) efforts to raise taxes on Nevada businesses. Several local teachers are speaking out. The following are four local Nevada Teachers in their own words. The first teacher is Jim Blockey; In 2016 Jim Blockey was on the shortlist for President Trump’s Secretary of Education. Jim Blockey is an Air Force Veteran, a retired Clark County School District Teacher, and Author of Public Schools – The Worst Case of Child Abuse in American History Unions used to be a force for good in this country. In the wake of the Gilded Age, they fought for the abolition of child labor and generally helped protected employees from the employer. Now it appears it is the employees that need protection from the unions that were originally supposed to protect them. Take a look at the bylaws for Nevada’s largest education union; National Education Association (NEA) affiliate Clark County Education Association (CCEA). None of the language in their bylaws is about helping teachers be treated fairly or ensuring students get the best education they can get. All they talk about is power. The NEA only cares about union dues, not teachers and it shows in the classroom, where teachers are abused, unfairly criticized and have become the scapegoat of our failing education system. Meanwhile, Nevada is 48th in Education for K-12 and disciplinary and classroom management takes up 15% of class time, resulting in the equivalent of each student losing 36 whole days of class time a year. Where did our union dues go towards? Did it go towards helping America’s children read better? No, in fact, they strongly endorsed the current method of teaching children how to read which has contributed to the 20,000% increase in dyslexia. Did it go towards helping our nation’s youth become more efficient in Math? No, in fact, they endorsed the method that played a large part in our youth not being able to do the simple task of breaking change for a dollar The NEA did spend 15 million on trips including $95,000 on a luxury trip to Bangkok and $700,000 on casinos. Only 16% of their budget went to directly benefit teachers. Worse yet, the American Federation of Teachers spent only 6% of its budget on direct benefits to teachers. This Wednesday, Democratic Presidential candidates will have a debate before the Nevada Caucuses. One of the frontrunners for President of the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders was recently endorsed by the CCEA, but I would like to see if Senator Sanders or any of the other Democratic candidates have the courage to stand up for teachers and against the union executives that have failed them. #2. Christina Zbejyck is a current substitute Special Education Teacher in Clark County School District, Co-founder of UNLV Campus Conservatives, and Masters of Education in Early Childhood Development candidate set to graduate in 2020 at University of Nevada, Las Vegas When I decided to become a teacher, I wasn’t doing it for the money. Here in Nevada, the average teacher makes $39,054. I am currently completing my required fieldwork as a substitute teacher to graduate from my Master’s program in Early Childhood Development at UNLV and become a full-time teacher at Clark County School District. I will have to make a decision soon on whether I am joining the union; National Education Association (NEA) affiliate Clark County Education Association (CCEA). If I decide to join, where will my union dues go towards? The NEA spent 15 million on trips including $95,000 on a luxury trip to Bangkok and $700,000 on casinos. Only 16% of their budget went to directly benefit teachers. The President of the NEA received a total compensation package of $407,264. Even worse the American Federation of Teachers only spent 6% of its budget on direct benefit to teachers. In the last year (2009) where a required Internal Revenue Service report is available for the CCEA, more than a third of the union’s $4.1 million budget went to pay just nine leaders. Each earned between $139,785 and $208,683 for a total of $1.5 million, according to the Clark County Education Association’s report to the IRS. My colleagues and I, on the other hand, aren’t seeing much benefit. Payroll has been delayed for weeks, teachers from out of state and even out of the country are prioritized over Nevadans. Teachers are struggling to make ends meet while wealthy union executives command large salaries and all-expense-paid vacations. This week, the Las Vegas Paris is hosting a debate between Democratic candidates for President. I’m calling on them to stand up for the students, teachers, and parents and against the greedy teacher union executives. Does ANY Democratic Presidential candidate have the courage to stand up? #3. Jim March taught English at Cashman Middle School from 2015-2017, and also coached football at area high schools. Jim is now continuing his teaching career on the east coast. Our White Elephant, Nevada Teachers’ Unions Legend holds that the King of Siam would sometimes gift a White Elephant to nobles of his court. This White Elephant was a symbol of success and refusing it was out of the question. However, the White Elephant had no practical use and was costly to maintain, requiring 200-600 pounds of food a day. As it turned out, the King of Siam gave the elephant to his political enemies to deplete their fortune and consolidate his own power base. Nevada has its own “White Elephant,” teachers unions like the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the NEA local affiliate the Clark County Education Association (CCEA). While Nevada is a Right-to-Work state, which means no teacher is required to join (just like a Court noble technically could refuse the White Elephant) those who do not are ostracized and looked down upon by their peers and administration. Just like a White Elephant, the union’s high paid leadership is costly to maintain, paid for by dues from teacher salaries. Where do those union dues go? The NEA spent $15 million on trips including $95,000 on a luxury trip to Bangkok and $700,000 on casinos. Only 16% of their budget went to directly benefit teachers. Worse yet, the American Federation of Teachers spends just 6% of its budget on actual benefits to teachers. Just like a White Elephant, the unions fail to provide any practical purpose except to consolidate the power base of wealthy union executives. NBC and a local paper, the Nevada Independent, will be hosting several national high profile Democrats for a debate on who should be the next President of the United States. Every single Democratic candidate has praised teachers. So I have one question, which Democratic candidate is BRAVE enough to really stand up for teachers and call out teacher union leadership? #4. Gina Rossa is a single mother that has spent several years of her career teaching at Clark County School District Public Schools, she is currently an instructor at a charter school in Las Vegas, NV. I speak for all my colleagues when I say: when we decided to be teachers…we definitely were not doing it for the money. While many assume that our hours are shorter because of the school day and nine-month school year when you factor in the hours grading outside of the classroom, the hours planning outside of the classroom, hours spent with students and communicating outside of the classroom, the 180 days in a CCSD contract becomes 275 days. The average full-time employee works 261 days a year. The facts are clear: Teaching is full-time work at part-time pay, but that’s what we signed up for. We knew that going in and when we were asked to pay union dues to the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) the local affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), we hoped that we would have an organization that would treat us fairly and use our money in a way that would stand up for us. Instead, the NEA spent $15 million on trips including $95,000 on a luxury trip to Bangkok and $700,000 on casinos. Only 16% of their budget went to directly benefit teachers. Even worse, the American Federation of Teachers spends just 6% of its budget on actual benefits to teachers. The President of the NEA received a total compensation package of $407,264. As a single mom and a teacher in Southern Nevada, the President of Union that’s supposed to stand up for us getting paid almost a half-million dollars a year of our money is kind of disgusting to me. Seeing these kinds of numbers was disturbing to me and part of what led me to leave the regular public schools and teach at a charter school here in Las Vegas. I am undecided on who I will support in the Presidential election, and next week Democratic candidates will debate on who they think is best to take on President Trump. Every single candidate has said good things about teachers, but will any one of them be willing to criticize the wealthy union executives?