October 7, 2013
The state’s second-largest lobbyist in terms of dollars spent is none other than the California Teachers Association. In the course of a decade, the CTA has spent more than $50 million alone lobbying politicians for legislation aimed at protecting and expanding its interests, usually at students’ and taxpayers’ expense. Few teachers realize, however, that they don’t have to finance the CTA’s political agenda. California may not be a right-to-work state, but most public school teachers have the right to a yearly rebate of $350 to $400 from their union—money that would otherwise line CTA lobbyists’ and political consultants’ pockets. . . .
Republican or conservative teachers are paying the union to support candidates and causes they oppose. For apolitical teachers, the question is why they should pay to support any causes or candidates at all? But teachers can forgo paying the political portion. It bears repeating that several U.S. Supreme Court rulings deny unions the right to force members to subsidize their political agenda. Teachers never hear this message when they join the CTA. They often aren’t aware that “agency-fee payers” (nonunion members) can request a rebate, even though they’re still forced to pay for “chargeable expenses” that are “germane to the union’s representational functions.”
To make teachers aware of their union membership options, the California Teachers Empowerment Network and the California Public Policy Center have launched the California Teacher Freedom Project. Its aim: to inform California teachers that they don’t have to pay for their union’s costly hyper-partisan agenda. The project’s website provides step-by-step information on how teachers can become agency-fee payers, get the yearly rebate, and join nonunion, nonpartisan, professional alternatives.
I’m sure that’s somehow racist or something.