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Education , Law & Principles

Ray Carter | March 1, 2023

Bill to strengthen teacher rights clears committee

Ray Carter

Legislation that would strengthen teachers’ rights when dealing with unions has won easy approval in a state Senate committee.

Senate Bill 99, by state Sen. Julie Daniels, would require schools to obtain annual reauthorization from teachers before union dues may be automatically deducted from a teacher’s paycheck.

“This bill would simply require the school districts to ask for reauthorization for those deductions on an annual basis,” said Daniels, R-Bartlesville.

SB 99 and measures like it have been advanced in recent years due in part to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31.

In that case, the court declared, “… States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees. The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

SB 99 passed the Senate Education Committee on an 8-3 vote.

Ray Carter Director, Center for Independent Journalism

Ray Carter

Director, Center for Independent Journalism

Ray Carter is the director of OCPA’s Center for Independent Journalism. He has two decades of experience in journalism and communications. He previously served as senior Capitol reporter for The Journal Record, media director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and chief editorial writer at The Oklahoman. As a reporter for The Journal Record, Carter received 12 Carl Rogan Awards in four years—including awards for investigative reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, spot news reporting, business reporting, and sports reporting. While at The Oklahoman, he was the recipient of several awards, including first place in the editorial writing category of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives Carl Rogan Memorial News Excellence Competition for an editorial on the history of racism in the Oklahoma legislature.

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