BOISE -- A group opposed to Idaho's Education Reform laws says a new campaign ad by "Yes for Idaho Education" is deceptive.
Bob Chanin, former general counselor for National Education Association, is quoted in the campaign ad as saying But "Vote No Props 1, 2, 3" says his words were taken out of context.
Here is the text of the campaign ad: "Listen to the National Teacher's Union as they explain why the union is spending millions to defeat education reform, like Propositions 1, 2 and 3 in Idaho." "It is not because the merit of our position. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. It's because we have power," said Chanin. "Don't let unions stop education reform in Idaho. Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 and 3."
Bob Chanin first made the comments in 2009 in California, one and a half years before Education Reform was signed into Idaho Law. He was not explaining why the union is spending millions to defeat Education Reform, as the ad implies, but rather making a farwell speech to union members.
According to transcripts, Chanin made the "we have power" comments while explaining to members why the NEA had become such effective advocates during his 41 years as the union's top attorney. Here is the quote in its entirety: "Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children. And it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power."
Chanin went on to say in that 2009 speech, "that power will in turn enable us to achieve our vision of a great public school for every child."
"Yes for Idaho Education" says they feel the ad accurately projects what is important to unions -- power. They say they believe it is important for Idaho voters to understand the motivation behind the union's $1.1 million dollars in contributions to defeat Education Reform.