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AAE is a professional association, not a labor union

AAE was founded as a professional association, not a teacher labor union. We do not bargain contracts for teachers, we do not support strikes, and we do not fund partisan causes. AAE is incorporated as a 501 (c) (6), nonprofit, professional association. As such, our mission is to promote excellence in the profession. As a member benefit, our members receive one of the strongest liability insurance policies available, giving them the peace of mind that they will not lose everything they’ve worked so hard to earn because of a frivolous lawsuit from a disgruntled parent. That protection empowers educators to put their focus back in the classroom.

AAE’s legal benefits for members do not threaten or change the “at will” nature of charter school employment contracts

In addition to a $2 million professional liability insurance policy, membership in AAE provides legal assistance to members who are experiencing a workplace issue. Essentially, a member may consult with an attorney if there is a threat of job action. Th is is to ensure that a member’s state or federal due process rights have not been violated. Th is provision in the AAE policy will not be problematic for charter school administrators since charter school teachers have signed an “at will” contract, effectively waiving the grievance process typically negotiated in union contracts. Moreover, the policy does not give teachers any additional legal rights. The policy is not designed to be used as an “offensivesword” to sue the school or its administration and instead serves as a “defensive shield” against lawsuits that threaten a teacher’s livelihood. To reiterate, AAE is a professional educators association, not a labor union. We are not in the business of protecting ineffective teachers’ jobs. However, we will certainly assist our members if their due process rights have been violated.

Does AAE membership give teachers new rights?

No, AAE does not collectively bargain, and therefore, a teacher’s membership in AAE does not provide new rights or protections. Of course, like all employees, charter school employees are protected by existing state and federal laws. Should these laws be violated during a job action, we would assist our member.

Teachers need individual liability insurance

The liability insurance policy for a school, school district, or the state is written in the name of the insured, therefore it is not the teacher’s policy to invoke. Th at liability limit must be spread over all claims filed during the school year against the district, the school, and/or the teacher. In the event of multiple suits in any one year, there may not be enough coverage to protect everyone. In addition, most school liability policies do not cover the legal fees involved in all suits. A personal AAE plan does! It is very prudent for your teachers to have their own individual liability insurance policy. You do not want to lose a good teacher because of an accidental, false accusation and/or frivolous or malicious lawsuit from a parent.

AAE Supports the Charter Movement

AAE is primarily funded through membership dues. In addition, the AAE Foundation, an IRS-approved 501 (c)(3) support foundation, receives donations from a cadre of reform-minded individuals and charitable organizations that support the charter movement and its continued growth.

Next Steps

To reach an AAE representative at our partnership office about distributing AAE materials at your school, requesting an AAE representative present at your school, or purchasing AAE membership for all of your employees, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our toll-free number at 877.385.6264.

For more about AAE, download our Charter School Leader Packet