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Education Reporter

Teachers' Rights Legislation Needed 
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It's the beginning of the school year and, as usual, teachers union leaders are using scare tactics to intimidate educators into joining. In forced union states, they tell new teachers that in order to work they must join the union within 30 days or be terminated. That's a half truth-and a half truth is a lie.

The full truth is that teachers may choose not to be union members and may donate all of their dues money to charity. At a minimum, they may opt out of the political activities of the union, keeping about 25% of their dues money. Unfortunately, very few local school districts provide teachers with complete, factual information.

On behalf of educators all over the nation, I am calling for passage in every state of legislation mandating that each school district provide teachers the whole truth about alternatives to union membership. We are not proposing anti-union legislation. It's pro-teacher legislation. This is bound to stir up a hornet's nest, but if no action is taken, teachers union leaders will continue their campaign of falsehoods.

Unions in both forced union states and right-to-work states have also resumed their perennial attacks on the 50-year-old Christian Educators Association International. Reports are pouring in from all over the country that the NEA and AFT are up to the usual shenanigans. They are telling teachers that CEAI membership is made up of mostly private and Christian school teachers. The truth is that over 90% of our members are public school teachers.

A new twist this year is the assertion that CEAI's liability insurance program for teachers will not cover teachers liability for issues related to the No Child Left Behind Act. This is absurd and unfounded, as is the insinuation that the professional liability insurance we offer is substandard.

We have the same insurance as the International Reading Association, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Association of Teacher Educators, National Association for Biology Teachers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association for Education of Young Children, and Phi Delta Kappa, to name a few. It is superior in many ways to the coverage offered by unions.

Union leaders want dues money any way they can get it, and then they use it to promote a radical political agenda which is, significantly, the opposite of a Christian world view.

We at CEAI represent our educators very well and have a good track record of doing it without (as is the union practice with dues moneys) supporting abortion on demand, endorsing homosexual life style as an acceptable alternative, pushing condom distribution, or lavishing money upon the election campaigns of leftist politicians across the nation.

Forrest Turpen is Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International.

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