California Teacher Freedom – CTA
By becoming an agency fee payer and requesting a yearly rebate, a public school teacher has the ability to receive a yearly rebate of $300 – $400 from the California Teachers Association.
A teacher’s ability to exercise these options is limited, however, and the necessary paperwork must be sent to CTA by November 15. (Teachers in LA Unified have different requirements. Click here for LA Unified details. Teachers represented by the California Federation of Teachers have different rules. Click here for CFT details.)
How to Become an Agency Fee Payer
(1) First, if you are currently a CTA member, you need to request to become an agency fee payer instead. A generic letter requesting to become an agency fee payer is available here. You only need to take this step once.
(2) Next — and you must do this every year between September 1 and November 15 — you can get a “rebate” of your money that CTA would otherwise spend on politics by sending written notice to:
Agency Fee Rebate
CTA Membership Accounting Department
P.O. Box 4178
Burlingame, California 94011-4178
This rebate is usually between $300 – $400, depending on a teacher’s local school district. A generic rebate-request letter is available here.
To ensure receipt of your letter, we recommend sending it Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested Signature and making and keeping a copy of your letter for your records.
(3) Alternative sources of liability insurance: Teachers seeking to replace CTA’s liability insurance have options from national, non-partisan, professional-educator associations. The Association of American Educators (AAE) and Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) are two such groups. For only $15 a month, AAE provides each member a $2 million liability insurance policy, legal protection and supplementary insurance options (AAE membership application). For less than $20 a month, CEAI also provides members with a $2 million liability insurance policy, legal protection and supplementary insurance options (CEAI membership application).
Religious Objector option
If a teacher wants to become a religious or conscientious objector, a how-to guide is available from National Right to Work. Teachers wishing to become religious objectors should not request to become agency fee payers.
Free legal assistance to those wanting to become religious objectors is available from the National Right to Work Foundation (email Bruce Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org), or from the website ChooseCharity.org, which has helped numerous CTA teachers through the religious objector process.
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CaliforniaTeacherFreedom.com is project of the California Policy Center, California Teachers Empowerment Network, American Association of Educators, and Nevada Policy Research Institute to educate public-sector professionals about their options as employees of unionized workplaces. We welcome new organizational and individual partners and collaborators, with the goal of informing every teacher of their options regarding union membership.