Roscommon Teachers Secede from Michigan Education Association, Form Local-Only Union

The local only union option continues to attract interest. Teachers in a northern Michigan school district recently voted two to one to break away from the state and national union and form their own independent bargaining organization. As reported by a local TV news affiliate, the president of the new Roscommon Teachers Association explained why so many of his colleagues took this unusual step:

“We’ve exercised the death penalty. We’re exercising our right to say, we’re your customer and we’re not buying you stuff anymore. I hope that’s the message they get,” said interim RTA president James Perialas.

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Nevada Group Notifies Clark County Teachers of Brief Opt-Out Window, Membership Options

Every year the Independence Institute reaches out to Colorado teachers to let them know about their options, particularly the right of union members to receive a rebate of political funds collected along with their dues. This year the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) has followed suit with a notice to teachers in their state’s largest district — Clark County — about a little-known provision that restricts union members’ opportunity to quit the union to the first half of July. As NPRI notes:

From July 1 to 15, most teachers are on vacation and school-related activities are the furthest things from their minds.

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$7.8 Million in 2010-11 AFT Member Dues (including Douglas County) Mostly Given to Liberal Causes

Doing his usual fine reporting, the Education Intelligence Agency’s Mike Antonucci breaks down the American Federation of Teachers’ latest report of its contributions to advocacy groups. During the 2010-11 fiscal year, AFT gave $7.8 million in member dues money to a wide range of organizations, an amount as large as the previous two years combined.

The National Education Association has the larger educator membership presence in Colorado. But among the state’s AFT teachers, the largest concentration by far can be found in conservative Douglas County, the state’s third-largest school district. Interesting then to see some of AFT’s contributions, as reported by Antonucci:

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Teacher’s Choice Video Celebrates Power of Options for Professional Educators

One of this website’s main themes is to celebrate — and to advertise — the various membership options available to Colorado teachers. In that spirit, the Association of American Educators and Choice Media TV have released the new 15-minute video Teacher’s Choice. This worthwhile, uplifting view profiles four teachers from different types of schools in different parts of the country and offers up a powerful message about how educational choice benefits professional instructors:

December 15 Deadline Approaching for Colorado Teachers Union Political Refunds

Update, 12/15: The CEA website was offline for awhile today. If you can’t access the electronic form, please send an email to Linda Lutz ( with a note that you are requesting the $39 Every Member Option refund.

December 15 marks the annual deadline for Colorado Education Association members to request a refund of “Every Member Option” union funds used to support state and local political campaigns. Last year’s attention-getting 45-second video is worth watching to find out the information, or just for the nostalgic refresher:

In addition to the $39 EMO available from CEA — which can be requested electronically or by old-fashioned mail — a number of other districts have additional EMO political refund options with additional opt-out requirements. To learn all the specifics click on any of the following districts that require refunds on or shortly after December 15 (with the amount available):

If you are a Colorado public school teacher, or know one, please feel free to share this post and the video. You could be making a difference and giving someone another reason to give thanks during this special holiday season.

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