Teacher unions are seemingly always under attack from various politically motivated organizations. Teacher unions are powerful. In case it will benefit their overall mission to protect teachers and public education, they are not afraid to ruffle a few feathers and are very powerful. Teacher unions were built on the idea that one united voice is much more powerful than a single. This ideal has helped teacher unions become two of the largest and most powerful labor unions in the United States. The influence that these two groups and other teacher unions have on public education is vast. As there are many political think tanks who have expressed a desire to privatize education across the United States it can be argued that they are the last line of defense to keep public education public. Make no mistake that teacher unions play a formidable role in the political realm.  Lobbyist pump millions of dollars into political campaigns aimed at education reform. Teacher unions are on the front lines fighting many of these reforms that their constituents agree will harm public education. Teacher unions have a significant voice when it comes to educational policy. This voice is due to the enormous membership that teacher unions boast.

Why public education needs teacher unions

As well as strength in numbers, large membership legitimizes the teacher unions by providing financial backing. Politicians up for reelection become nervous when going against teacher unions as their constituents can be a powerful voting force. Per pupil funding is critical to public education’s success. Money is necessary for schools to be successful. It will only continue to become more expensive and in fact now it is much expensive than ever before. Schools must have adequate funding to provide necessary teacher training, to maintain facilities, and to purchase technology and curriculum materials, as well as classroom supplies. Teacher unions advocate on a consistent basis for increased educational funding. Inflation alone dictates that per pupil funding receive a regular increase, yet many states’ per pupil funding remains flat or is minimally increased.  A lack of funding limits the education a school can provide to its students. Public education funding should be as the top priority for every state government as it is an investment in the future of that state. Teacher unions spend many resources lobbying on behalf of schools to try and get them the financial resources they need to maximize their success. Yet teacher tenure is constantly being challenged and attacked, most of the teachers deserve to have job security. Advocating and defending teachers that schools are trying to fire is the most controversial role that teacher unions play. Most of those teachers should never reach the point where they obtain tenure.  If administrators are doing their jobs early on those bad teachers are weeded out before reaching the point to obtain tenure protection. It is because an administrator failed to follow through with the evaluation process properly in case in case these bad teachers slip through the cracks.