Teachers in Another School District Decide to Break Away from the NEA

Back in the spring I told you about a local teachers union in Kansas that broke away from the National Education Association. Apparently the trend is growing. From a press release sent to my friends in the Education Policy Center this week about some happenings in Spokane, Washington:

In an historic move, teachers of the St. John School District in Eastern Washington voted to disaffiliate their local teacher’s association from the Washington Education Association (WEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). St. John teachers sought the assistance of Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE), an affiliate of the Association of American Educators, to educate them about negotiation options, legal and liability insurance, benefits such as medical insurance as well as other needs of teachers.

This is the second school district in Washington to have made such a move. The Sprague-Lamont School District teachers decertified their union in 2005 to establish a local only teacher union. On a national scale, about a dozen school district staffs have been successful in booting out the state and national unions’ control of their local association, the most recent being in Riley, Kansas.

Teachers who are interested can learn more about the local-only union option and other relatively unknown alternatives to the traditional labor organization model. In Colorado, teachers have greater freedom than many other states to decide their membership options.

September is the most important time of year to understand, appreciate, and take advantage of those options.