On Tuesday, the Mexican government—amid violent protests from angry teachers and very powerful teachers unions—put its final touches on sweeping education reforms it hopes will not only improve school quality, but also reduce labor union influence.
Mexico’s lawmakers and other critics argue that these powerful teachers unions are corrupt and have exerted too much control over hiring and review practices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “[p]ublic disapproval (of teachers unions in Mexico) also derives from the growing awareness that the teaching profession is a union racket, not a public service.” The newspaper opined that, “[a] more powerful explanation (why teachers lost favor with the general public) may be that civil society is fed up with a corrupt system that gives a select few a free ride at the expense of the nation’s children.”
Until recently, teachers were able to sell their positions or pass them on to family members. They lived privileged lives at the expense of their students.
Mexico’s citizens and political leaders grew tired of the union corruption and failing schools.
And now, the unions have lost power.