- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Pennsylvania teachers are cry foul, saying the State Education Association has wrongfully denied them the right to skip union dues in lieu of donating to their own charities of choice — one of which teaches the Constitution to kids.

They’ve filed a lawsuit alleging the union is breaking state law, which gives a stipulation that teachers citing religious exemptions can opt out of dues and instead send their money to charities, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The teachers still have to send the money along to the Pennsylvania State Education Association, but union officials are then supposed to distribute the funds to the charities of choice.

Jane Ladley, who taught the elementary level for 25 years and retired in June, alleged her union kept her from sending her $435 donation to a scholarship fund set up to teach the Constitution to high school seniors. Why? The charity was deemed “too political,” she said, citing the union’s reason, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“Since when did the Constitution become political? It’s a legal document that is the foundation of this country,” Ms. Ladley said, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “I had to have their approval for where my money went, one that would fall in line with their thinking.”

Ms. Ladley declined to donate to her union because they “funneled money to Planned Parenthood,” she said, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“As a Christian and as a mother, that was abhorrent to me,” she said, the news outlet reported.

The union tried to make Ms. Ladley instead donate to a charity on its preferred list — something that her attorney, Nate Bohlander, with the Fairness Center, said is against law.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association also contested another teacher’s attempt to give money to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation because the group had previously sued the union, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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