The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, held its annual convention in Minneapolis this year, beginning in late June and ending in early July. The convention was attended by 8,000 or more delegates from around the country. It began just a day or two after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, holding that governments cannot force public employees to contribute to unions against their will.
We wrote here about the fact that we greeted NEA delegates with two billboards, one on Highway 35W and one on Highway 94:
Were the billboards effective? This is how Education Week, a national journal that serves teachers and covers education issues, began its article on the NEA convention and the Janus decision:
On the drive from the airport to downtown Minneapolis, where the National Education Association held its annual convention last week, cars passed a billboard that proclaimed it “Teachers’ Independence Day.”
“No more forced union dues,” said the billboard, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 to prohibit the “agency” or “fair share” fees that public-sector unions had been charging to nonmembers in 22 states.
The sign—funded by the Minnesota-based Center of the American Experiment, a conservative and free-market think tank, and aimed at getting teachers to drop out of the union—was an ominous backdrop for what would be a defiant meeting of 9,000 educators and union leaders in Minneapolis.
An ominous backdrop, indeed! Teachers and other public sector employees are being liberated from forced servitude to public sector unions. That’s definitely worth a billboard.