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GOP leader says "right to teach" a go in the state House

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By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-986610.mp3

EAST LANSING, MI –

The Republican leader of the state House says he would like to see a law in Michigan that allows teachers to opt out of joining a union or paying union dues as a condition of working for a school district. House Speaker Jase Bolger endorsed a "right-to-teach" law Friday morning on a statewide public radio call-in show. We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

Bolger's support would appear to clear a path through the Legislature for a "right-to-work" law that applies only to teachers. The Senate majority leader has already expressed his support and says he expects to see the measure come up for a vote.

Bolger says a "right-to-teach" law is not a poke at teachers unions that have tangled with Republicans on school reforms and have backed the recall of GOP lawmakers. Bolger says the measure is meant to respect teachers by giving them more control over their paychecks.

"We've heard from teachers who are not happy with how their union dues are being used," he says. "They're not happy with what's going on."

Bolger says he is not yet ready to embrace a more sweeping "right-to-work" bill, although he says that should also be discussed.

The House Democratic leader says targeting one profession for a "right-to-work" law smacks of retribution.

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