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Indiana Bill Promotes Alternatives to Teachers' Unions

In an effort to promote alternatives to traditional teachers unions, Indiana lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor that would require the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board to more actively notify teachers of their non-union options. The bill sailed through the legislature where Republicans hold control of both houses—and is now headed to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The legislation requires the employment relations board to report what percentage of teachers in each school district belong to a union as well as videos and other information about educators' non-union representation options. It also requires the board to proactively notify every teacher at a school where less than half of educators are union members of their rights to decertify the union as their collective bargaining agent. 

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that State Rep. Jerry Torr, a Republican from suburban Indianapolis who led a successful 2011 effort to make Indiana a so-called right-to-work state, is pushing this bill. Torr says it's just about giving teachers access to more information.

But in a statement, the Indiana State Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, argued that the information is already available to educators and denounced the bill as "yet another attack on unions."

"ISTA maintains if educators and legislators want to work on real issues that help students, these petty attacks must stop," the press release concluded. 

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