Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough slammed the Detroit Federation of Teachers for having “put the children in the middle” of a fight for funding, referring to an organized sick-out that caused 94 out of 97 Detroit public schools to close on May 2. The union representing Detroit public school teachers called for the action after learning there is not enough funding to pay already earned salaries after June 30 and after months of union-led actions designed to call attention to the deplorable school conditions in Detroit caused by inadequate funding. The Morning Joe hosts failed to mention that the new funding cuts would also mean summer school and extended special education programs would be canceled, and Scarborough parroted a disputed quote from a union leader. The attack was the latest in a long history of some media outlets criticizing teachers unions. From the May 2 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): Detroit public schools says most of its schools are closed this morning, amid a sick-out by teachers following an announcement the district is running out of money. A district spokesman says that 87 of the roughly 100 schools are closed today. Yesterday, the Detroit --
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): That's what you do, really. When there’s -- no, I’m serious.
BRZEZINSKI: In America.
SCARBOROUGH: When there's a financial crisis, I think it's extraordinarily important that teachers unions work overtime to hurt the students. Because that's what it's all about, right? Because, this isn't about educating children. This is about, well, what's the old saying? They asked one of the most powerful union teachers ever, when are you going to start worrying about students instead of teachers? And he said, when students starting paying union dues. So there you go. Ladies and gentlemen, your teachers union.
BRZEZINSKI: Yesterday, the Detroit Federation of Teachers urged members to call in sick, after a weekend announcement that the district will have no money to continue paying teachers this summer without additional state funding. Today's shutdown could affect more than 46,000 students.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, you can negotiate in ways that don't actually put the children in the middle of this. And it's not as if they're just making this financial –
SCARBOROUGH: Nobody expects teachers to go to work for free, but at the same time, there is a better way to do it then punishing the children.