By Ben Velderman
FALLSINGTON, Pa. – Leaders of the Pennsbury Education Association are wiping egg off their faces this week after a judge ruled against their scheme to force reform-minded school board members out of office by redrawing the boundaries from which they are elected.
Operating behind the front group “Concerned Residents of Pennsbury,” the teachers union was pushing a plan to make school board elections more “democratic.” Instead of electing three board members from each of three representative districts, the phony “residents” group wanted nine representative regions. Leaders of the union’s front group argued their plan was fairer and more democratic.
When school leaders decided to keep the three region system – one that’s been in use for the last 50 years – the “residents” group took the matter to court.
Unfortunately for the union’s “residents” group, their attorney inadvertently submitted to the court a CD containing documents that revealed the true intentions of the plan.
In one of the documents, former PEA President John McDonnell explained that the real purpose of the nine-region plan was to prevent school board member and union critic Simon Campbell from running for re-election.
The makeover plan “provides the opportunity to cut off the head of the snake by denying Campbell a seat to run for,” wrote McDonnell. “Why not go for the kill?”
“The documents also revealed that current union President George Miller sought financial backing for the (residents) plan from the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the mother ship for the local teachers union,” reports PhillyBurb.com.
According to the news site, “There was no doubt that the (Concerned Residents of Pennsbury) plan sought to defraud citizens. None.”
Bucks County Judge Susan Devlin Scott apparently agreed with that assessment and flatly rejected the union-backed plan earlier this week.
Not only had the union hoped to get rid of Simon Campbell – their fiercest critic and purveyor of StopTeacherStrikes.org – but they also wanted to get a bunch of union friends on the board so they could negotiate a sweetheart deal at contract time.
The so-called residents plan was sold as being more democratic, but it actually sought to “undermine democracy by undoing what voters had decided at the polls,” the PhillyBurb editorial notes. “And what they decided was to … (elect) new representatives who vowed to stand up to the district’s unions and do what’s best for taxpayers.”
Not only has the court ruling put an end to the PEA’s bald-faced power grab, but it will hopefully serve as a reminder to area taxpayers that they’re dealing with a very selfish, deceptive and manipulative teachers union, one that would be very dangerous if it weren’t so inept.