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Fundraiser woes: Teachers unions seek to end 'McTeacher’s Night'




A sign is posted outside of a McDonald's restaurant on December 8, 2014 in San Rafael, California.
A sign is posted outside of a McDonald's restaurant on December 8, 2014 in San Rafael, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Franchises have long been a part of the mission to raise money for schools. It seems like a win-win situation: Fast-food restaurants get more customers and a portion of the proceeds go to underfunded school programs.

But the National Education Association teamed up last week with select state and local teachers unions and Corporate Accountability International to end McDonald’s McTeacher’s Night fundraisers.

The complaint? Opponents of the fundraisers say McDonalds gets free marketing for its less-than-healthy menu and leaves schools with little monetary payoff.

In a report from NPR Thursday, McDonald’s USA said donations from the fundraisers had raised more than $2,525,000 for school organizations from January 2013 to September 2015.

Do you think franchises should be allowed to promote their brand in schools if they offer unhealthy diet options? Should there be more payoff for schools when they participate in these fundraisers?

AirTalk reached out to McDonald's, which declined to join us for an interview, but sent this statement:

“McTeacher’s Nights are all about community, fun and fundraising. As parents and members of their communities, McDonald’s franchisees and our corporate restaurants have long supported what matters most to them. McTeacher’s Nights are one example.

 Teachers and parent teacher organizations have a choice in how they seek to raise additional funds, and for years they have told McDonald’s and franchisees that, in addition to the extra financial support these events provide for their schools, they have a great time connecting with their students and neighbors in meaningful ways.”

-McDonald’s USA

​Guests:

Elizabeth Aguilera, KPCC's Community Health Reporter who is working on a piece now looking at junk food on campus and school fundraising

Neal P. McCluskey, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute, a libertarian-leaning public policy a think tank 

Melinda Dart, vice president of the California Federation of Teachers and president of the Jefferson Elementary Federation of Teachers in Daly City