Addressing its significant budget challenges in December, the Sweetwater Union High School District put in a letter, “We have dedicated considerable time and effort to finding solutions by working with as many of our stakeholders as possible including our labor partners, staff, parents and students.”
We find the order of the listed stakeholders a bit odd. Students and parents last, with labor first. That may simply be a choice of words, but Sweetwater has either intentionally or unintentionally hit on a reality.
At one time, PTA was the chosen abbreviation — parent teacher association. Now, the voluntary organizations often include students in the mix — PTSA — as an acknowledgment that the parents and teachers are there for the students, so the young people should be at the table.
But, it’s time to simply and honestly acknowledge that organized public labor unions are in charge of the education process. In many cases, with all the other stakeholders answering to their power, knowingly or not. Even to the point of school districts like Sweetwater on the brink of insolvency.
It’s time for the PTSLA, wherever you place the L.