By Ted Nesi, WPRI.com
A new study will give ammunition to those who say local teachers unions wield significant power in Rhode Island.
The two organizations – the National Educational Association Rhode Island and the smaller Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals – are the fifth-strongest teachers unions in the United States based on a range of measures, according to an analysis [pdf] by the Thomas P. Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now, the nonprofit wing of Democrats for Education Reform.
The four states ranked as having stronger teachers unions than Rhode Island were Hawaii, Oregon, Montana and Pennsylvania. Connecticut ranked 17th and Massachusetts ranked 21st.
The authors say the study “represents the most comprehensive analysis of American teacher unions’ strength ever conducted,” and it suggests the Rhode Island unions’ are more involved in politics and have more resources than most of their counterparts elsewhere in the country.