June 27, 2018 4:36 pm

NPE Press Release on Janus Decision

Published by

For immediate release:

Media Contact: Carol Burris, Network for Public Education:

 516-993-2141 (cell)


NPE calls decision “politically motivated” and not in the best interest of American public school students.

New York City, New York —The Network for Public Education is deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to rule in favor of the plaintiff in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 3.1. By a 5 to 4 vote, the Court nullified the laws of 23 states and the District of Columbia that oblige those who are covered by public sector union contracts to pay “fair share” fees. Such fees cover the expense of the cost of negotiating and enforcing employment contracts. In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the 40 year-old decision of a previous court that asserted the right of unions to receive payment from all they represent.

“This ruling is an extraordinary example of judicial activism on the part of a court whose majority claim to be aligned with conservative principles,” said Network for Public Education Executive Director, Carol Burris. “It is clear this was a politically motivated decision designed to reduce the power and voice of public sector unions—including all of the unions that represent teachers, nurses, custodians, instructional assistants and administrators in public schools.”

The implications of the decision go far beyond the protection of workers’ rights. It will have a deleterious effect on the well-being of all public school students. Teacher unions have been strong advocates for well-funded, safe public schools for America’s children.

NPE Board member and student and parent advocate Leonie Haimson said, “For more than fifty years, teacher unions have been a positive force in fighting for more funding and better conditions in our public schools, including smaller class sizes.  Especially now when our public school system is under attack, we need strong unions to preserve, protect and strengthen our public schools from the privateers who are trying to undermine them by outsourcing education to corporations — whether charter schools, private religious schools or ed tech companies.“

NPE President, Diane Ravitch agrees. “The evidence is clear. Nations with strong student performance, such as Finland, have strong teacher unions. The best student scores on the NAEP exams are in states with strong unions, while weak scores are associated with states with so-called “right to work” laws. Unions give teachers a voice to advocate for more funding for schools and better working conditions. This provides great benefit for students. This is a sad day not only for our nation’s education professionals but for our nation’s children.”

About the Network for Public Education

The Network for Public Education (NPE) was founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. We are an advocacy group whose mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students. The goal of NPE is to connect all those who are passionate about our schools – students, parents, teachers and citizens. We share information and research on vital issues that concern the future of public education.