The win in the U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME is monumental for teachers. Finally, teachers forced to fund state and national unions for decades have the freedom to “opt out” and pay them nothing. The court also granted “opt in” rights to employees, so membership is no longer automatic. Since state and national teachers’ unions oppress teachers and use our money to fund the social and political agendas invading our schools and culture, Janus could be monumental for America’s schools and kids too. Freeing teachers could lead to the restoration of our schools and finally level the playing field between the values of bully unions and the values of the rest of the country.
I say Janus “could” level the playing field because though Janus provides educators the opportunity to opt out of paying fees, unions remain monopoly bargaining agents and exclusive “representatives” of all educators trapped in union shops. This is unfortunate because state and national unions control teachers in a culture of fear — using intimidation, isolation, and ignorance to keep us captive.
This is why thousands of teachers across the country have asked me the exact same question: “Is there a way to remain in my local association and get rid of state and national teachers’ unions?”
Most teachers appreciate their local associations because locals do the heavy lifting. Yet my $1,000 in annual union dues was divided. The California Teachers Association took $656, and the National Education Association took $187. Our local survived on $157, and when we local leaders asked for accountability from state and national leadership, we got squashed.
By overpowering the teaching profession, state and national unions have transformed our schools. Their negative impact is felt from outrageous sex education curriculums normalizing anal and oral sex for children, to activist teachers converting children into social justice warriors, to multi-million dollar attacks on school choice.
In response to this abuse, my fellow teachers and I brought our case, Friedrichs v. CTA, to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. We were hoping to free teachers and kids from the grip of union influence because schools shouldn’t be social, sexual or political war-zones. We were poised to win, but Justice Scalia’s untimely death led to a 4-4 deadlock.