Tag Archives: Riley County Educators

Kansas Teacher Independence Story Makes National Headlines Again

A couple months ago I told you about the Kansas teachers local that fought for and won its independence from the state and national union. I’m excited, because the podcast I posted up there was quoted in the latest edition of School Reform News: In a March 30, 2009 interview with the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank based in Golden, Colorado, [Riley County Educators] spokesman Gary [sic] Sigle explained that last year only 14 of the county’s 56 teachers were NEA members, which gave those 14 members exclusive bargaining power. Others wanted a greater say in what was going on locally. Sarah McIntosh, the writer of the story, also interviewed my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow to get his take on the issue:

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Kansas Teacher Explains Why His Colleagues Broke Away from NEA

Recently, a group of public school teachers in rural Kansas were tired of being represented by the nation’s largest teachers union and decided to do something about it. From Education Week: Teachers in Riley County have voted to decertify from the Kansas National Education Association and the National Education Association. The approximately 58 teachers in the district voted earlier this month to have Riley County Educators serve as their negotiating agent. Riley County High School industrial arts teacher and track coach Garry Sigle, who also serves as spokesman for the Riley County Educators, was kind enough to record an iVoices podcast explaining why he and the other teachers chose this course of action and what the process is like: The Association of American Educators (AAE), which has provided assistance to the teachers in Riley, explains that these teachers in the Kansas district are not the first local to decertify from NEA in recent years. It has happened in several other states, though not yet in Colorado. My Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow tells me he is working to get more information on the decertification option to put up on the Independent Teachers website. I’ll keep you updated.

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