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AAE Teachers Testify in Support of Paycheck Protection in Pennsylvania
posted by: Alix | June 09, 2014, 03:11 PM   

Two AAE member educators, Regional Membership Director Kristi Lacroix, and coalition of other local stakeholders testified Thursday before a Pennsylvania House committee in support of a new paycheck protection bill designed to promote teacher freedom of choice and union accountability.

AAE is in favor of paycheck protection, a policy that would prohibit unions from collecting dues via payroll deduction for political purposes. This policy provides a check on union power by ensuring that tax dollars are not used for partisan politics.

Here are a just a few excerpts from the numerous testimonies given in support of educators and taxpayers.

Keith Williams, a teacher and AAE member, testified about his opposition to using taxpayer resources for political purposes, an activity that can lead to jail time for elected officials:

"Again, as both a taxpayer and teacher, I'm particularly concerned about this use of taxpayer resources serving as a collection tool for political purposes. HB 1507 removes the burden from the district for unfairly utilizing taxpayer-funded payroll services for the purposes of partisan political activity. What other political lobbyists have the ability to collect millions of dollars using the same staff and resources my property taxes currently support? I can think of no other group, and the only individuals I can recall who have co-mingled taxpayer resources with their political campaigning have received prison time."

AAE Regional Membership Director Kristi Lacroix, a former public school teacher, also testified in support of the bill:

"The impact of this bill is significant. As part of my position with AAE, I speak with teachers that are unaware that their union dues are going to political activity. The fact that union dues go to more than just benefits and services is not widely known. Under paycheck protection, educators would be empowered with the information to make their own decisions. This legislation promotes fairness and transparency with all organizations."

After her testimony, Kristi gave an interview to the Commonwealth Foundation explaining why paycheck protection is so critical for teachers. Click here to view the video.

After more than three hours of testimony and a rally attended by hundreds of grassroots activists, paycheck protection is well on its way to becoming law in the state. The Pennsylvania State Government Committee will now vote whether or not to put the bill on the House floor for a full vote.

What do you think about paycheck protection? Does this bill go far enough in promoting educator freedom in Pennsylvania?
Comment below.

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