California Ballot Initiative Would Stop Government Payrolls from Collecting Political Money

A citizens group in California is proposing a ballot initiative that would prevent government payroll systems from collecting political funds. Among other possible advantages, this reform would empower individual teachers in the Golden State to decide how they want to spend money on politics.

Go here to listen to Ben DeGrow of the Independence Institute and Mike Reitz of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation discuss the possible impacts of the initiative in light of similar reforms that have been adopted or proposed in Colorado, Washington, Utah and Idaho.

Forty Days and Counting ‘Till December 15 CEA Political Refund Deadline

Having seen this notice posted about a dues rebate available to teachers union members in California, it was striking to realize that as of today there are 40 days left for members of the Colorado Education Association to request the $39 Every Member Option political refund or lose it forever. Last year a teacher friend of ours explained it well in this 2-minute video — the basic facts remain the same:

For more details on the CEA refund and the additional refunds available from the various local CEA unions, check out our Political Refunds page.

Union Dues

The annual cost of full-time membership in the teachers union depends on the school district in which you work. For 2008-09, each full-time member pays $363 to the Colorado Education Association and $158 to the National Education Association headquarters. The local portion of union dues vary by location. Here is a sample of the TOTAL dues costs for 2008-09:

  • Westminster (Adams 50): $812
  • Aurora: $735
  • Littleton: $726
  • Jefferson County: $725
  • Lewis Palmer: $712
  • Canon City: $708
  • Academy 20: $707

By comparison, members of the Douglas County Federation of Teachers (Colorado’s largest local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) pay $431 in dues for 2008-09.

Annual membership to join the Professional Association of Colorado Educators is $180.

Annual membership to join Christian Educators Association International is $139.

November 1-15: DCTA Deduction Opt-Out Window

Denver Public Schools (DPS) teachers and other education employees may join the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) or any other membership organization at any time. However, employees who currently have membership dues deducted to the DCTA (and by extension, CEA and NEA) may only cancel the automatic deduction between November 1 and November 15.

This policy is set by the terms of the negotiated master agreement between DPS and DCTA (PDF) – from Article 23:

At any time, employees in the bargaining unit wishing to become members of the Association may authorize such deduction by filing with the District through the office of the Association, a signed and dated Denver Classroom Teachers Association Salary Deduction Authorization Form authorizing the District to deduct from their monthly earnings and to remit to the Treasurer of the Association, an amount equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the dues required for membership in the organization or organizations specified in Article 23-2 above.

Such form shall include a waiver of all right and claim against the Board, the District, and the officers and agents thereof, for moneys deducted and remitted in accordance with said authorization; and an agreement that such deductions and remittances shall continue from year to year, as so authorized, unless teachers notify the District through the Association office and on an appropriate form, that they desire to discontinue or to change such authorization. It will be possible to revoke the dues deductions only during November 1 through November 15 of each school year. Only Association revocation forms will be honored by the District. Once a revocation form has been signed and properly processed, no further action is necessary on the part of the employee to terminate deduction of the membership dues. [emphasis added]

Denver teachers and other employees who wish to sign up or to revoke membership may obtain the appropriate form by contacting DCTA at:

Office Phone: 303-831-0590
Office Email:

Below is contact information for Colorado public school employees’ other membership options (click on any email link to send):