The BEA is a union that represents government employees and gives 40 percent of the dues it receives from teachers to their far-left affiliate, the National Education Association.
In fact, the BEA used schools to organize phone calls and door-to-door canvassing targeting a strategic list of voters. Asked about these activities, the BEA deleted references to targeting particular voters from its website and insisted they were just reminding people to vote.
That is hard to believe given how much adult interest groups like the BEA have at stake in shaping the debate. Organizations like the BEA have worked hard this year to shift education debates away from academics and toward funding. Their allies—including local school administrators—do everything they can to keep the public conversation focused on state government rather than on what local districts might do better.
Should education debates focus just on money? Are local administrators incapable of directing more resources to the classroom? Students might benefit from a public debate on these questions, but the interests of a handful of adults often trump the needs of students.
Bixby Public Schools was already a tragic example of adults protecting their own power and money at the expense of students and taxpayers. Last year, the district got caught mishandling sexual assault allegations in order to protect Superintendent Kyle Wood. The school board allowed him to retire with full benefits plus a $167,000 payout even though the alleged assaults took place at Wood’s own home.