(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Education Association dropped its lawsuit about the automatic withdrawal of dues out of teacher paychecks after a three-judge panel denied the group’s request to temporarily block the bill.
The TEA’s argument the law was unconstitutional based on the bill’s caption and it being a two-part bill with separate topics failed in front of the panel as the panel said that the TEA was unlikely to succeed.
“We hold that the Plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits of either claim,” the judges wrote in the order. “The Act does not impermissibly embrace more than one subject, and its caption fairly describes its contents. The Act also does not repeal PECCA’s requirement that payroll deductions be discussed as part of the collaborative conferencing process.”
The law also included a minimum teacher pay increase incrementally from the current $40,000 to $50,000 for the 2026-27 school year by bumping the minimum to $42,000 in the fall, $44,500 the next year and continuing to rise.
The judge panel did acknowledge the new law will cause the TEA issues in terms of retaining membership and switching members from an automatic paycheck withdrawal system to a different payment method.
But those difficulties were not reason to legally block the law.
“We cannot say that these concerns rise to the level of a ‘substantial impairment’ under established precedent that constitutes a Contract Clause violation,” the order said.