| One of the best things about the 2012 elections was shaping up to be the epic fight the Teacher's Unions were going to wage over a ballot question. This was going to tie up their money fighting a ballot initiative instead of spending their money against Republican legislative candidates in "uncoordinated" direct mail. This now seems less likely to happen. The union reached a settlement with the ballot initiative committee to take the question off the ballot.
The state's largest teachers union has struck a deal in which it would give up significant seniority rights for members in exchange for a commitment from an education reform group to withdraw a far more sweeping ballot initiative proposal.
Paul Toner, the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, confirmed today his group has been meeting with Beacon Hill legislative leaders to brief them on the deal and present them with a draft bill that would curb the influence of seniority in the placement of teachers.
The MTA's move comes after weeks of negotiations with a group called Stand for Children/ Massachusetts, which is collecting voter signatures in effort to get its reform plan on the November ballot.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association spent over $3,000,000 in 2010 on the elections. Close to a quarter of a million of it was on legislative candidates. In 2008 according to the office of campaign and political finance the MTA spent about $130,000 on independent expenditures.
The move today frees them up to spend that money again this year.