I am a proud public school teacher. I am honored to serve children in Stewart County.
I want to educate children, stay active in my community and church, and vote for the people who most closely align with those values. But many teachers who choose to join a union miss how much their choice may undermine their values.
Recently, the Tennessee Legislature took up the Fair Access to Collection of Teacher Support Act, also known as the Paycheck Protection Act (SB 151 / HB 294), a piece of legislation that has been amended to take the school district out of collecting dues through payroll deductions for unions who use them for political activities.
The bill includes a straightforward proposal: The government should never collect dues for any political organization. The TEA responds to the bill by saying it operates a separate PAC that, by law, is funded independently. But it doesn’t take more than a few minutes of quick research online to realize that this is just a drop in the bucket in the political machine that is funded by unknowing teacher dues every year.
But, in my opinion, this legislation has an added benefit: Protecting teachers from bait-and-switch tactics.
By rule, TEA members must kick up a substantial portion of member dues to their parent organization, the National Education Association (NEA). The political activities of the NEA are well documented, and the organization has been referred to them as a virtual “arm of the Democratic party.”
The NEA’s early endorsement of Hillary Clinton, ties to Planned Parenthood, and its campaign spending to unseat Republicans in national and state elections are never mentioned in TEA recruitment.
This misrepresentation is made worse by the fact that many TEA reps sell membership by pointing to their liability insurance, a fear tactic that I believe overstates the threat of a parent lawsuit, and failing to mention that the state now provides this to all teachers for free.
In short, the lack of separation between the NEA’s representation activities and political activities make it impossible to purchase TEA membership without supporting these political causes. READ MORE from the Leaf-Chronicle.