Little Eddie is learning to be generous during the holiday season. That’s why I’m helping my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow with one of his favorite charities: informing and reminding Colorado teachers of their membership options. It’s especially important this time of year, because tomorrow (December 15) is the deadline for members of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) to get back their Every Member Option (EMO) funds.
What’s that, you may ask? EMO is money automatically collected with union member dues to spend on state and local political campaigns. Still need a clearer picture? Watch this 14-minute segment with the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara interviewing Ben on his weekly public affairs show Devil’s Advocate about the Colorado teachers union political refund:
Ben shares an important point on his own blog:
As I often say, if you like how the union spends your money on politics, you have no reason to complain and absolutely nothing to do. But for those teachers who would rather support their own political causes, or use the money to pay for Christmas shopping or just save for a rainy day, then members need to be informed of their opportunity.
Since the time is so short before the deadline comes, here are some key shortcuts to ask for the Every Member Option political refunds ($39 for CEA, up to $24 for some of the CEA locals). Check out the Independent Teachers website for explanations, deadlines, amounts, addresses, form letters and more. Or you can go directly to CEA’s online refund request form (though there is no such form for those who want the refund from the local union, too).
If you are a Colorado teacher — if you know one, if you love one, if you care about one — please pass on the word about this opportunity. It will take you only a minute or two to do, about the same amount of time for the member who wants to request one or more EMO refunds. But remember: After December 15, the opportunity (and the money) is gone for the whole 2011-12 school year!