Education A State Capitals Roundup

Legal Foundation Seeks Probe Into Calif. Union’s Use of Fees

By Linda Jacobson — September 20, 2005 1 min read

The Landmark Legal Foundation, a public-interest law firm with offices in Leesburg, Va., and Kansas City, Mo., has asked the California Public Employment Relations Board to investigate whether the California Teachers Association is using fees paid by nonmember teachers to finance a campaign to defeat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiatives in a special election Nov. 5.

The complaint focuses on a $60-a-year, three-year assessment that the 335,000-member union says is going for debt retirement. While nonunion teachers are required by law to pay fees for collective-bargaining purposes, they are entitled to a refund of the portion of the fees used for political reasons.

The CTA is opposing the governor’s “Live Within Our Means Act,” which would eliminate the minimum-funding guarantee for schools in Proposition 98 and require new teachers to serve a five-year probationary period instead of the current two years.

Beverly Tucker, the CTA’s chief counsel, said the complaint has no merit, and called it another “attack on unions” from Landmark.

A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2005 edition of Education Week