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Lawsuit would curb teacher unions’ political power

LA School Report | April 9, 2015

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By Howard Blume | The Los Angeles Times

An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop teachers unions in California from using member dues for political purposes unless individual instructors provide their permission.

The effort, if successful, could weaken the influence of these unions by limiting their spending.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court by StudentsFirst, a Sacramento-based organization that has opposed candidates and measures backed by teachers unions nationwide, while also working to pass laws that curtail union power.

In the suit, four teachers, including two from the Los Angeles Unified School District, assert that union rules and state laws violate their 1st Amendment rights to free speech because they cannot belong to the union unless they allow a portion of their dues to be spent on political activity. The teachers claim they should be able to join without subsidizing viewpoints they may oppose.

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