Talking Points for School and District Reps

What Can PSTA Do for You?

  • Liability Insurance Coverage
  • Legal Assistance-On-Staff Attorney
  • Scholarship Fund
  • Legislative Representation
  • Local Chapters/ Student Chapters
  • STAR Seminars
  • Newsletters & Email Blasts
  • Social Media Updates
  • Variety of Benefits to Save You Money

You can have all of these benefits and more for only $12.50/month or $149/year!

What Can PSTA Do For Your District?

  • Free Professional Development Sessions on the following topics:
    • Advocating for Your Students
    • Legislative Issues
    • Ethics for Teachers
    • DonorsChoose
    • Technology in the Classroom
    • SKYPE in the Classroom
    • Tech Integration
    • Arts Integration
    • Inquiry Based Learning
    • Web 2.0
    • Professionalism
    • Classroom Management

General Information about PSTA:

PSTA was founded in 1976 to give South Carolina educators a choice of professional organizations. PSTA’s philosophy is that a teacher’s first duty is to the child and that every child has the right to a quality education. PSTA offers reasonable dues of $149 annually or $12.50 a year.. Rates are reduced for first year teachers who were student members. Their dues are $99 for the first year. Your benefits include: an on-staff attorney, $3,000,000 liability insurance, legal representation, registered lobbyists, a scholarship program available to members of at least three years to assist those who want to further their education, discounts to all PSTA sponsored workshops and events, access to the Legislative Alert Network, money saving benefits, and more.PSTA offers memberships to students, teachers, retired teachers, administrators, substitutes, and any other person working in a school in South Carolina.Joining is easy. You can register with Visa, MasterCard, or Discover online. You can also print a membership application and mail/fax it in with credit card information. If you choose to join with bank draft and have $12.50/month withdrawn from your bank account for 12 months, you can also print the form and mail it in with a voided check. More information about membership can be found here.

Handling Excuses

“PSTA doesn’t do anything for me.”

  • Mention Legal Assistance
  • Mention liability insurance…every educators needs it and it is included in the dues
  • Mention legislative efforts. Our lobbyists are in the State House when the Legislature is in session, following bills that affect educators. You can keep informed through LAN, our Legislative Alert Network. You can also follow our updates on our Latest News blog.
  • Mention PSTA’s statewide conventions and other great workshops.
  • Mention PSTA’s work with the State Board of Education and other state level organizations.

“My husband/wife always joins.  No need for us both to pay.”

Don’t both of you need the benefits of PSTA’s legal protection and liability? Your membership only covers you, not a spouse.

Talk about professionalism. You take home two paychecks, and you both need a membership. If you were both doctors, you would both be part of the American Medical Association.

“I can’t afford $149.00.”

Mention how valuable PSTA legal services are in a time of need. Talk about the peace of mind that comes from having attorneys on your side. You dues are $149 for a year…an attorney costs more than $149 PER HOUR!
Mention liability insurance. You cannot afford to be without it.
Talk about what it means to have full time lobbyists follow the bills that are important to teachers.
Mention our convention and other workshops.
We have money saving benefits with our Perks card and a brand new arrangement with Disney for theme park tickets!

“PSTA has no national affiliation.”

Education is a state function–more than 70 percent of the money for public education in South Carolina comes from within the state. That is why PSTA concentrates most of its lobbying efforts in the SC General Assembly. In addition to our strong lobbying efforts in Columbia, PSTA does do work on the national level. Our leaders meet with the Coalition of Independent Education Associations each year to work on national issues, and our registered lobbyists meet frequently with our Congressmen.

“I don’t see why I should be expected to join a professional organization.  I don’t consider teaching a profession.”

Teaching is a profession and professional people affiliate with professional associations in their field. Educators need a strong professional organization to look out for their interests. A strong professional organization can provide the services members want and need. PSTA also stands for your freedom to join or not join the group of your choice. Without PSTA, you could be forced to pay dues to a union like many teachers in other states.

ADEPT, South Carolina’s evaluation instrument for teachers defines professionalism as a required area in APS 10. The first area of that APS discusses advocacy. Joining Palmetto State Teachers Association shows your professionalism and advocacy for education.

“I don’t agree with a lot of things that PSTA does.”

Do you agree with everything that the General Assembly does? Does that mean you choose not to participate in the democratic process? The majority must rule. If you want to bring about change, you should become involved and make your concerns known.

Palmetto State Teachers Association is governed by a Board of Directors who are full-time teachers. Each year, they come together with input from teachers in their respective areas of the state to compile PSTA’s Legislative Agenda. PSTA members are always given the opportunity to give input on what should be included in each year’s agenda.

“I belong to my subject area association.  Why should I join PSTA?”

Most of the subject area associations do not have the legal and liability coverage that PSTA offers. Remember, this covers you in the classroom, coaching, field trips, recess duty…anything you are doing for your job. We also cover guidance counselors, school nurses, and any other individual who works in a public school.

“PSTA dues are only $149 and other organizations charge nearly 3-4 times that amount.  Don’t you get what you pay for?”

PSTA members’ dues stay here in South Carolina working for the students and teachers in South Carolina. Palmetto State Teachers Association does not support, financially or otherwise, any political candidate or party. The Board of Directors for PSTA do not receive payment for the positions they hold. They are all full-time teachers who volunteer their time for the organization. All of these are factors in why PSTA’s dues are lower than other similar organizations.