Posted Date: 03/23/2023
State Superintendent Ryan Walters has announced his intention to use administrative rulemaking through the Oklahoma State Department of Education to crack down on teachers’ association dues.
In a memo to the state Board of Education posted online Wednesday, Walters said he intends to send a notice to every public school teacher stating that they are free to not join dues-collecting professional associations.
In Oklahoma, the largest such groups are the Oklahoma Education Association and Professional Oklahoma Educators.
“It has come to my attention that teachers are not adequately informed of their rights to refuse association with or dues payments to a public sector union. This lack of information can expose teachers to undue coercion,” states the Walters memo. “If teachers are unaware of the full extent of their First Amendment rights as public employees, they can feel pressured into signing forms that omit any meaningful reference to their rights to refuse association.”