'Teacher of the Year' Fired for Lack of Union Seniority

'Teacher of the Year' Fired for Lack of Union Seniority

It doesn’t matter anymore how good you are at your job if you live in the failing state of California; if you’re on a lower rung of the ladder in terms of seniority, you’re toast.

Michelle Apperson, a teacher at the Sutterville Elementary School in Sacramento who was named “teacher of the year” by the school district, was fired because she was outranked in seniority.

The state’s budget deficit, which has ballooned to $16 billion, has triggered a move by Governor Jerry Brown to make cuts across the board, and schools across the state are being forced by budget cuts to fire thousands of teachers.

Yet in May, Brown made an online video extolling his approach in which he claimed schools would not be affected, saying:

This means we will have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year. But we can’t fill this hole with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools. That’s why I’m bypassing the gridlock and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety.

Promises, promises. No severe damage to the schools? Tell that to Apperson’s students. They wrote letters to the school telling them how sad they were.

Brown was disingenuous when he claimed schools would not be hurt by his cuts. That’s one problem.

There is another, and it cuts to the heart of a more general problem with the teachers’ union and unions in general. Why do teachers who have served longer deserve priority over someone who does the job better than they do? Why reward mediocrity and punish excellence?

In the end, the ones who suffer are the kids. And the teachers’ union simply doesn’t give a damn. As with all unions, it’s never about excellence; it’s all about protecting your own first.

Apperson handled the situation with grace, saying, “It hurts on a personal level because I really love what I do. But professionally, politically, economically, I get why it happens.”

Of course she gets why it happens; she’s been brainwashed by the unions, too.


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