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HB 2221: Pro-Teacher Legislation
posted by: Alix | February 12, 2013, 05:55 PM   

Despite record-breaking growth in Kansas, KANAAE members and staff have experienced tremendous hurdles in establishing equal treatment with the union. Whether it is the inability to attend a new teacher orientation or access to school mailboxes, KANAAE is constantly passed over in favor of union interests. Despite this climate, there is renewed hope for teachers seeking options in Kansas, as House Bill 2221 was recently introduced to promote an equal playing field for all teacher associations.

This week, members and staff from KANAAE, testified in support of House Bill 2221. This "equal access" bill would mandate equal treatment of teacher associations, whether it is in the form of equal time to speak with teachers in meetings, equal access to mailboxes, or email addresses, or any other contact, to all competing education organizations.

Once implemented, the state would simply be facilitating an open playing field for all associations, and teachers themselves would make the ultimate decisions of which organization to join – if any. Equal access laws also have the benefit of getting school districts out of the business of being the middle of whether or not to allow non-union groups in.

The fact is this legislation is pro-teacher choice. As a supporter of the bill, KANAAE recognizes the potential in this legislation to put teachers in the driver's seat. House Bill 2221 promotes fairness and will ultimately empower teachers to make financial decisions that best fit their budget and beliefs.

Interestingly, while KANAAE seeks to welcome teacher members across the state, KANAAE has never sought to be the monopoly voice for teachers as the union so often states and fears. From the very beginning, the non-union educator movement has been about creating an option for teachers searching for professional benefits, like liability insurance and legal protections, at a fraction of the cost and without a partisan agenda. KANAAE is not a labor union and has no interest in bargaining contracts or telling members how to vote, but an entirely different entity, solely focused on professionalism and balancing the interests of educators and students to help create a world-class education system in the state.

Our hope is for teachers statewide to be presented with the critical information needed in selecting an association that best meets their needs. We hope that House Bill 2221 will soon become law and Kansas teachers will once and for all be presented with their options.

Click here to read the full testimony in support of HB 2221.

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