Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is the justification again for Teachers Unions?

Study finds that Teachers' unions don't provide more pay:

Teachers' unions have little impact on a school district's allocation of money, including teacher pay and spending per student, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Labor Economics.
Using data from school districts in Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota, Cornell economist Michael Lovenheim compared district spending trends before and after each district became unionized. He also compared trends between union and non-union districts. Specifically, his analysis looked at teacher pay, spending per student, number of teachers employed and student-teacher ratio.
"My results indicate unions have no impact on teacher pay, either in the short or long run," Lovenheim writes. "I also estimate little effect on per-student expenditures, particularly in the long-run."


The only valid justifications I'm aware of for Teachers' Unions is they protect the teacher from abuse, improve working conditions and increase the salary of teachers.

I wonder how many teachers would want to stay in their unions if they knew the unions only took their dues, but didn't help with the salary?

(Hat tip: Friends of Dave)

Technorati tags: children, education, government schools, children, public school, public education, Teachers Unions


Anonymous said...

Back in the day I actually joined my teaching union specifically for the legal protection. At the time, I had no idea they worked to increase pay and that wasn't my concern. There are full-time paid attorneys and all legal fees and court costs are covered if some child or parent accuses a union-participating teacher of something. Most educators figured it was a very small price to pay for that reassurance. We also had more than one union competing for our participation. It paid to investigate before joining.

Henry Cate said...

I had forgotten about that benefit to teachers of teachers' unions.

As a citizen I think teachers' unions provide too much legal protection. I personally know of a couple instances when a teacher should have been fired, maybe even prosecuted, but the teachers' union was able to get the teachers reinstated.