Local Teachers in Kansas Decertify from State and National Unions
Alexandria, VA – In a historic move for teacher freedom and local control, the teachers of Deerfield, Kansas voted to decertify their local teachers association from the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). The Deerfield Educators sought the assistance of the Kansas Association of American Educators (KANAAE), a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE), to educate them about the process to become a local-only teacher organization.
This is the second school district in Kansas to have made such a move. The Riley County Educators (RCE) decertified from KNEA in 2009 to establish a local only teacher organization. On a national scale, educators in more than 15 school districts have successfully declared their independence from the state and national unions' control of their local association. This innovative maneuver enables all teachers in the district to be a member of the local organization and to be participants in the decisions that affect their wages and terms of employment without having to pay costly dues to state and national teacher unions in order to have that right.
Led by local educators Joel McClure and Doug Crandall, the decertification means that teachers in Deerfield are no longer forced to financially support the KNEA and NEA in order to have a voice in the bargaining process or to be a active participants in that process.
"I'm thrilled that our educators were finally able to make the right choice for their school," said Mr. McClure, a local leader. "My colleagues were simply unwilling to pay high dues and bankroll partisan politics in order to have a say locally."
There were only 5 teachers in the Deerfield district who were members of the now decertified Deerfield Teachers Association. There are 27 total teachers in the district. For those educators looking for liability insurance, access to legal counsel, and other critical benefits, educators at Deerfield, and in every district in Kansas, have the option to join KANAAE. KANAAE dues are just $15 a month.
"We would like to congratulate the teachers of Deerfield on this critical vote," stated Garry Sigle, executive director of the Kansas Association of American Educators. "These teachers wanted a voice locally without having to join the NEA. KANAAE is proud to provide teachers with support services that empower them to create an organization that best meets the needs of local educators."
Increasingly local teacher associations are abandoning both state and national teachers unions' high dues and partisan politics in favor of a local presence. This decertification vote adds to the teachers nationwide who favor local control over inefficient service and contentious politics.
The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator's organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits. AAE's Kansas state chapter is the Kansas Association of American Educators (KANAAE). Visit aaeteachers.org and kanaae.org for further information.