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FAQ

What is BCEA ? The Blount County Education Association is the professional organization representing teachers in Blount County. It is the local affiliate of the TEA and NEA. The local, state and national organizations work together to promote teacher welfare and improve public education.

How do I join? Each school has an elected representative who can help you with membership forms. Go to Join Us for more information.

What do I get for my money?

  • local advocates for teacher interests in collaborative conferencing on salaries, insurance, working conditions.
  • million dollar liability insurance policy and legal representation from experts in education law
  • personal on-site assistance from an association staff member
  • representatives at the state and national level who promote our viewpoints on education policies while we’re busy teaching.  publications and other resources detailing research and other information on issues affecting your classroom
  • money-saving benefit programs like insurance and banking discounts, ACCESS card shopping discounts, and other member services
  • professional workshops and seminars like the Spring Symposium in Gatlinburg and local workshops on legal issues and evaluations.
  • a voice in educational issues like Race to the Top and teacher evaluations on the local, state, and national levels

How much are dues and how do I pay? Dues for this year are just $33 a paycheck for a full time teacher–and only for November through June!. Other categories of membership (part-time teachers, assistants, etc.) are available (contact your Building-Level Association Rep). Dues can be paid  through payroll deduction, or bank draft during the months of November through June or by check.

I don’t think I can afford to join! You cant afford not to join! Consider your dues an investment in the future of your profession. There is strength in unity and numbers. In addition, dues can be recouped by participation in the member benefits programs. In fact, one Association Rep actually makes money through his membership by utilizing the member benefits!

I’ll never need the protection the association offers. Circumstances can be beyond the control of even the best teachers. The association has a strict policy that if you are not a member when something happens to you in your employment you cannot get help from the association.

Are my dues used to finance campaigns for political candidates? NO! Contributions to political candidates come exclusively from voluntary contributions made by members for that purpose. It is illegal to use dues money for campaign contributions. Laws restrict contributions and the association complies with these laws.

I like the local association, but I think that NEA is too political and takes positions on non-educational issues. The association has positions on issues that have educational implications and involve education in its broadest sense. The delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly make NEA’s policies. This group is composed of over 10,000 delegates from local and state affiliates. These delegates are elected and directed by your involvement. Our delegation to the NEA RA tries to represent YOUR views in our votes on the RA floor, but like any democratic institution, majority rules and we are sometimes outvoted.  If you don’t like NEA’s positions, join so  you can help change them!

I don’t always agree with the association. Few people agree with 100% of what any organization does. That does not keep them from joining. As an association member, it is your right to disagree, and it is your responsibility to help change what you do not like. As a member, you have dozens of opportunities to change the direction of the organization. If you are not a member, you can’t change anything.

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