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For Immediate Release
June 14, 2007
Contact: Heather Reams
Director of Communications
AAE Applauds High Court Decision Favoring Teachers’ Rights
(Alexandria, VA) — The Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national, non-union educators’ organization, hails the unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court today that ruled in favor of a group of teachers in Washington State.

The case, Davenport v. Washington Education Association (WEA), centered around the constitutionality of Washington state Initiative 134, which states that non-members’ fees may not be used in political contributions made by the union. The Court determined that the initiative did not violate the First Amendment, a victory for educators who do not wish to support a union’s political activities.

“This case clearly demonstrates that teachers unions have developed an unhealthy sense of entitlement to teachers’ personal finances,” said AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner. “The ten years of litigation the WEA has devoted to the fight for each dollar of its members’ dues it can use on its political agenda clearly illustrates its priority of protecting Big Labor to the exclusion of education.”

The case, argued in January, came down to whether the WEA had the right to use the fees of non-members any way it chose. In November, AAE submitted an amicus brief to the court highlighting the cumbersome process of resigning from the union, citing first-hand experiences of educators.

“Professional educators across America have won an important victory today,” said Beckner. “AAE will continue to work to ensure that educators’ rights are protected.”

Dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student, the Association of American Educators is the premier educators’ network that advances the teaching profession through teacher advocacy and protection, professional development and promoting excellence in education so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities.