“If you DON’T care about funds for your school…then by all means throw this away,” reads a June 2011 insert in PSEA Voice, the magazine of the 185,000-strong Pennsylvania State Education Association. It’s a solicitation to donate to the union’s political action committee, PACE, because failure to do so—the union browbeats educators—means “less job security” for teachers and “more attacks on your profession.”
But that’s not all.
That PACE insert, and several other political solicitations, were paid for by the union dues of PSEA members—without their knowledge or permission. Last year, the union plowed $3.2 million of its members’ dues into such “political activities and lobbying,” including scare-mongering spreads against Mitt Romney, sneering takedowns of Gov. Tom Corbett, and ads in support of the Obama-Biden ticket.
What’s worse, taxpayers are helping to fund these activities because school districts collect the PSEA’s union dues through public payroll systems. Even PAC money—which can be given directly to candidates—is collected using taxpayer resources.
Here are more examples of PSEA and National Education Association (NEA) ads that union dues from Pennsylvania educators paid for:
- A September 2012 PSEA insert proclaming that “a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Tom Corbett.”
- An article describing a Romney presidency as “Corbett, Christie, Walker on Steroids,” with a four-page spread of PSEA-recommended candidates in the November 2012 elections.
- A spread called “We the People” encouraging teachers to vote…and give to PACE.
- An NEA election guide comparing Obama with Romney but clearly touting “Educators for Obama.”
Such partisan solicitations are why teachers across Pennsylvania are speaking out against their forced funding of the PSEA and NEA’s political activity, and why we should end the taxpayer-funded collection of political money for government unions.