One year after Janus, what kind of teachers leave unions? Teachers who pray
Prayer, service, and a rejection of union politics mark those who abandon unions
June 27, 2019: One year after the Janus case enabled public school teachers to cut ties with unions, we are learning more about educators who have left their unions behind.
A recent survey of members of Christian Educators Association International (CEAI), an organization that serves educators who have left unions and who identify as Christians, reveals a telling profile of those who have left.
The poll of over 800 public school educators indicates that 97% pray for their students, while 78% admit to doing so frequently. Additionally, 63% are involved in students’ lives beyond the classroom and outside of regular school hours by serving through club, church, or community activities.
Other results point to why these educators abandoned unions: 81% do not believe that national teachers unions, like the National Education Association (NEA) or the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), represent their values or beliefs. Moreover, 75% reject the political endorsements of their state unions.
Former public school educator and CEAI Executive Director David Schmus points out, “There are hundreds of thousands of public school educators whose values are not represented by teachers unions. Whether it’s contributions to Planned Parenthood, support for radical sex-ed, or using their dues to promote extreme, one-sided politics, unions are giving teachers of faith many reasons to jump ship.”
California public high school teacher Amy Parkinson opted to not join the union when she transferred jobs shortly after the Janus ruling. She explains, “The union supports candidates that I am opposed to politically, religiously, and ethically. Why would I support something that cancels out my power at the ballot box?”
Additional survey results include:
- 95% believe that working in their schools is one way they live out their Christian calling
- 88% receive a great deal of satisfaction from their work
- 94% believe they have a strong positive impact on their students’ lives
- Public school educators surveyed spent an average of $327 of their own money on classroom supplies
The CEAI Member Survey was conducted from March 25 – May 13, 2019.