Why Unions Oppose School Choice

Published September 1, 1999

A recent survey of Michigan schools conducted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy provided one key reason why teacher unions would oppose school choice involving charter and private schools: While all 583 Michigan public schools have unionized teachers, only 5 of 139 charter schools, and only 2 of more than 1,000 private schools, have unionized.

If it seems difficult to believe that unions would oppose school choice for financial interests, Mackinac’s Matthew J. Brouillette notes that it was former union president Al Shanker who said, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”