Jane Ladley is a 25-year veteran of the Pennsylvania public school system. She retired from Avon Grove School District in Chester County in 2014, not long after the district went “agency shop,” requiring all teachers to either join the teachers unions or pay a lesser “fair share fee.”
Ladley’s status as a religious objector to the union was accepted by the PSEA in 2013 and her money, rather than funding her chosen charity, has been held in escrow since then.
Initially, Jane asked the PSEA to send her money to a scholarship fund for high school seniors interested in studying the U.S. Constitution. The scholarship fund was sponsored by an admittedly political organization.
Unbeknownst to Jane, the PSEA has an internal “policy” under which any charity that the PSEA labels “political” will be rejected out of hand. On that basis, the PSEA rejected Jane’s choice of charity. Despite Jane’s sincere desire to contribute to the scholarship fund, she chose an alternate charity, the Constitutional Organization of Liberty (“COOL”), providing educational materials on the Constitution and America’s history. The PSEA refused to respond to Jane’s proposed solution.
Jane retired, but her money—which should go to a charity—is still sitting in escrow, awaiting action by the PSEA.
“They are telling me which groups I have to choose,” Ladley remarked. “It’s a wrong that needs to be righted. I’m doing this on principle and for the other teachers coming up through the ranks, so that they have these options available to them.”