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Press Release



June 27, 2018

Supreme Court Restores Teacher Freedom in Today’s Janus Ruling

Alexandria, VA – In a major victory for teacher freedom, today the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public sector employees cannot be forced to pay agency fees as a condition of employment.

Association of American Educators (AAE) Chairman and President Gary Beckner responded to the decision, saying, “We’re thrilled that teachers around the country had their right to choose restored by the Supreme Court today. A generation of teachers has suffered under unconstitutional union agency fees. Because of today’s correct ruling, teachers everywhere can now stay focused on their care of students instead of being forced to fund political speech.”

AAE’s Executive Vice President Colin Sharkey said, “AAE’s members have been vocal about the indignity of forced unionism and we celebrate today’s ruling with them. Teachers will now be able to teach without having to give part of their paycheck to a union they do not wish to support. We have always believed that teachers should be empowered to make the decision that is right for them when it comes to union membership. Today, the Supreme Court has affirmed the rights of all educators and restored teacher freedom.”

Looking to the future, Sharkey added, “We have a tremendous amount of work to do to ensure teachers everywhere know their association rights and are free to choose the option that best suits their goals, values, and budget. AAE stands ready to educate teachers and to serve members throughout the country with professional benefits including liability insurance, employment rights coverage, and teacher-led advocacy.”

The Association of American Educators is currently a plaintiff in Yohn v. California Teachers Association, a federal case challenging forced union dues and arguing that union membership should be an opt-in system rather than an opt-out system that places a significant burden on educators even after agency fees are eliminated.

Agency fees were upheld in the 1977 case of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a controversial compromise even at the time of the decision. Recent lawsuits, including Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which featured several AAE members as plaintiffs, challenged the agency fee arrangement as unconstitutional. Friedrichs ended in a split decision following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Today’s ruling in Janus restores teacher freedom by ensuring choice when it comes to unionization.

The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national, non-union, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student-oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources and many other benefits. Visit for further information.