INDIANAPOLIS | Schools would be barred from automatically deducting from paychecks the portion of teacher union dues used for political purposes under legislation approved Monday by the Indiana House.
House Bill 1334, which now goes to the Senate, is widely seen as a response by the Republican House majority to the surprise election of union-backed Democrat Glenda Ritz as state superintendent of public instruction last year.
Teachers already can obtain a refund of the political portion of their union dues without sanction. However, should this measure become law, all teachers would have to send a separate check to their union to support its political activities.
State Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, called the proposal "a waste of legislative time."
Other provisions of the legislation likely will be more popular with teachers, including an income tax deduction of up to $1,000 for unreimbursed classroom expenses and suspending continuing education requirements for teachers rated "highly effective."
The proposal was approved 62-33.