Tag Archive | "Finn Laursen CEAI"

Wisconsin Recall Vote Frees Teachers to Choose Alternatives to Coercive Union


Finn Laursen


By

Finn Laursen, CEAI Executive Director.

The Wisconsin recall election was a victory for both the policies of Gov. Walker and for education. Act 10 that had been passed into law under Gov. Walker eliminated forced unionism, stopped forced payroll deductions, and limited the ability of public unions to coerce public officials into granting unaffordable and unsustainable benefits.

Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) has reached out to thousands of educators in the state of Wisconsin impacted by the new controversial legislation under Governor Walker called Act 10.  Unions had couched the legislation as anti-teacher, but CEAI clarified via thousands of postcards sent to the homes of educators that Act 10 provided them with free choice that educators in other states have has for years: freedom to choose where they will receive professional liability and legal job action protection.

CEAI informed educators that they could join CEAI for a fraction of the cost of the unions and receive professional liability and legal job action protection along with many resources from a Biblical world view.  They could even join online at www.ceai.org and make monthly payments as an option.

As thousands of Wisconsin educators learned they could take a closer look at what unions really offered at http://www.ceai.org/a-closer-look.html , could connect with the WI State Director at freedomtochoose@ceai.org , or call the toll free number at the CEAI Membership Service Center at 888-798-1124, most received the information as something positive to consider.  However, some teachers had consumed the “Union Kool-Aid” and responded with threatening obscene phone calls.

The recent failure to recall Governor Walker fueled by the unions underscores that the citizens of Wisconsin are no longer willing to be driven by union demands.

The landscape for teacher unions is changing across the nation as the economy is challenged, student performance continues to drop, and unions have positioned themselves as roadblocks to reform ignoring the needs of students.  As teachers are looking for alternatives that do not support anti-family agendas without giving up the potential of legal support as needed, CEAI has become the choice of many within the Christian community.

The Wisconsin recall election was a victory for teachers, students and education.

 

Finn Laursen is Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International. CEAI (www.ceai.org   ) is a professional association for Christian Educators in both the public and private schools.  Most of its members are in public schools and they are, in fact, the only association specifically serving Christian Educators in our public schools and have done so since 1953.  Their focus is to encourage, equip, and empower Christian Educators to make a positive impact in the schools where they serve.

Prior to taking the helm of Christian Educators, Mr. Laursen was a public school educator in Ohio for 32 years: teacher, middle school & high school counselor, middle school & high school assistant principal, high school principal, and the last 11 years public school superintendent.

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Christian Educators Association International: An Alternative to Hard-Left Teachers’s Unions


 By Bill Korach

Last week, The Report Card interviewed Finn Laursen Executive Director of the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI), an organization founded in 1953 whose mission is to encourage, equip and empower educators according to Biblical Principles. Mr. Laursen was a former Firelands Local School District Superintendent in Loraine County Ohio, earning his MA in education at Ohio State University. Most of CEAI’s membership are public school teachers and subscribe to principles that include promoting educational excellence as an expression of Christian commitment, preserving our Judeo-Christian heritage and values through education, promoting the legal rights of Christians in public schools and providing resources and benefits for educators including professional liability insurance.

Mr. Laursen says: “Although CEAI is not a union, we offer Christian teachers in the public school system an alternative to teacher’s unions whose values are in many ways in opposition to the values of Christian teachers. CEAI members get $1 Million in legal liability coverage in the event that they are sued for any cause related to their profession.” One has only to read The Report Card or follow the news to know of the all-to-frequent attacks by the ACLU against America’s Judeo Christian Heritage.

The dominant teacher’s union in America, The National Educational Association (NEA) claims membership of 3,200,000 members and has an annual budget of over $300 Million. The NEA’s top priority is member benefits and political power, not educational quality. Steven Jobs, Apple Founder said: for “unless the unions were broken, there is no hope for educational reform.” The NEA has opposed any and all reforms like school vouchers and tax credits that would weaken their monopoly grip on public schools. The NEA’s unholy alliance with the Department of Education have driven spending on education to over $650 Billion annually according to the CATO institute, while America’s educational performance continues to drop. American students score in the bottom third for math and science among developed nations according to a recent McKinsey study. In many urban school districts, high school drop out rates are 40% or higher. At the same time, the NEA has fully embraced a worldview that denigrates America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. History and social studies courses frequently depict Americans as racist oppressors, greedy capitalists, and homophobes. The NEA supports the abortion lobby, the gay agenda, Radical Islam, and Agenda 21 a global, socialist world view that tend to be in conflict with the views of Christian teachers.

 

Mr. Laursen says: “CEAI became the first national organization of professional Christian educators serving in public, private and charter schools. In the 1990’s many Christian public school teachers felt that the NEA no longer spoke for them and wanted out. CEAI  is a leader in promoting the rights of religious persons in public education and in providing benefits for educators including $1 million in legal liability coverage in the event of a lawsuit.” Mr. Laursen points out that teachers can be sued personally. He points to the case of John Freshwater, a Mt. Vernon, Ohio teacher sued over a science experiment but only found guilty of  teaching evolution critically and refusing to take a Bible off his desk. Mr. Freshwater, whose case was covered in these pages last week, was terminated by the Mt. Vernon School Board. The CEAI helped Mr. Freshwater connect with the Rutherford Institute that has filed his case with the Ohio Supreme Court.

 

Mr. Laursen says that his members regard teaching as a calling and to encourage them CEAI offers a daily devotional, and the magazine Teachers of Vision. CEAI counsels teachers on their First Amendment rights in the classroom; a valuable tool teachers can use to defend their rights as Christians and educators. Mr. Laursen says: “There are a great many misconceptions about the rights of Christian teachers, student led prayer and other matters. We have a relationship with the Liberty Council, a law firm that defends teaching of Judeo-Christian values in the classroom and they say ‘if you teach what’s right, we’ll defend you.’”

Mr. Laursen says: “Although CEAI is not a union and does not engage in collective bargaining for teacher contracts, teachers fed up with the NEA can join CEAI and we will get them out of the union without loss of contract protection.” Mr. Laursen says that some states are “closed shop” requiring teachers to join the union, but CEAI can still help.

The CEAI is well known in the secular world and Mr. Laursen is often an invited speaker at educational events around the country. Mr. Laursen believes that there are about 600,000 Christian teachers in the public school system, but only 7500 belong to the CEAI. He believes that small number is because many teachers are unaware of CEAI, but he is aware that many Christian teachers are fearful of the rapid slide in public school morality and the concomitant moral confusion. Mr. Laursen welcomes anyone in the Christian community to take advantage of the CEAI website www.ceai.org/ He encourages teachers to contact CEAI with any questions regarding membership and draws attention to the Daniel project for Christian teacher leadership in public schools: http://www.tentm.org/public-schools.html

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