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For Immediate Release
January 10, 2007

Contact: Heather Reams
Director of Communications

U.S. Supreme Court Hears First Amendment Case to Protect Rights of Teachers

(Alexandria, VA) – Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard Washington v. Washington Education Association, a pivotal case answering a divisive question of whether the union’s First Amendment rights trump the constitutional rights of teachers.

The case addresses the 1992 Washington State paycheck protection law that requires unions to gain permission from their non-members before their money is used for political purposes. The Washington Supreme Court ruled that this law places an undue burden on the union.

“Teachers unions seem to have developed an unhealthy sense of entitlement in that somehow teachers owe the union money, whether or not that teacher wants the union’s representation or the union’s political activity,” said Tracey Bailey, 1993 National Teacher of the Year and Director of National Projects for the Association of American Educators

Last November, AAE filed a “friend of the court” brief with the U.S. Supreme Court outlining the burdensome regulations the union has put on teachers who do not want to pay for union politics. The brief can be found here.

“Teachers should have the right to have their paychecks protected, without fear of union coercion,” said Mr. Bailey. “Teachers nationwide may well be affected by the outcome of this case, and I commend the U.S. Supreme Court for taking it on.”

The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators’ association, offering an alternative to the partisan politics and non-educational agendas of the teacher labor unions. AAE does not get involved in political issues or social agendas that are outside the realm of education. AAE does not endorse, support or contribute to any political cause or candidacy. AAE has members in all 50 states.