School Choice Week: America's teachers have better options than the NEA or AFT

2014-09-18 School Teacher

In case you missed it, this week is National School Choice Week. While this post is slightly off the topic of school choice, as most know, many of America’s teachers think they have no choice when it comes to unions–when, in fact, they do.


Unaware that they have alternatives like the Association of American Educators to purchase liability insurance, many teachers across the nation become members of unions like the NEA or AFT because they are tricked into believing there are no other alternatives.

Once in, both the NEA and AFT spend much of their dues pushing ideological agendas that many teachers do not support.

As a result, teachers often spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per year on union dues, when they could find much more cost effective alternatives on both insurance, as well as grievance representation.

One Michigan teacher explains why and how he and his fellow teachers decertified the National Education Association (NEA) to the Commonwealth Foundation:

Michigan teacher Jim Perialas has an unusual story. In 2012 his school, Roscommon Area School District, became the first in decades to decertify (or leave) the state-wide Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to form a local-only, independent union.

Jim readily admits he’s not anti-union, “unions do good and bad things . . . but I still think they should play a role in the workplace.” So, why did teachers at Roscommon want to leave the MEA? They were simply frustrated by the undemocratic, expensive, and secretive state union. “We talk about the lack of a voice . . . there is a so-called democratic process, but really it’s not,” explains Jim.



Today, members of the independent Roscommon Teachers Association have seen their dues decrease from $980 to $600 a year and members still have access to grievance support and other services. Most importantly, members have local control and can clearly see how their money is being spent. [Emphasis added.]

Listen to Jim explain his experiences here:

“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Cross-posted on


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