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Dispelling the Myths

Check out this page for comparisons of the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators to the Kentucky Education Association. This section will dispel myths, misconceptions, and a myriad of misrepresentations of KAPE that you may have heard or come across. We want our membership to be armed with facts and feel confident in spreading the truth when faced with an onslaught of misinformation. Feel free to disseminate these facts to anyone who may be seeking accurate accounts of both organizations. We are KAPE, and we stand for truth. 




Annual Costs

$200.00 per professional member, $350.00 for a married couple, students in an undergraduate education program are free. New, non-tenured teachers are offered discounted rates when sponsored by an established KAPE member.

Varies, depending on local education membership fees.  The average cost is around $800.00 annually. Members pay mandatory unified dues which automatically give them membership in local and state associations, as well as NEA.

Liability Coverage

$2,000,000.00 per member per occurrence

$1,000,000.00 per member per occurrence

Legal Services

Legal services are free to members without a limit on dollar amount, time, or outcome.  KAPE has several Kentucky licensed attorneys on retainer who work for KAPE members without any out of pocket costs to those members.  A KAPE attorney will represent members from onset to conclusion of any employment issue, including representation in hearings and tribunals, and representation in issues before the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB).  Representation is not based upon a positive outcome, or resolution, and is not contingent upon the subject matter of the employment issue. KAPE has recently added coverage for limited legal costs to appeal a tribunal decision based upon legislated changes in SB 8, passed in 2019.  KAPE offers $10,000 extended coverage for appeals. KAPE also provides $10,000 coverage in legal defense for criminal charges resulting from teacher/educator employment. KAPE provides $10,000 coverage for issues regarding identity theft. Most recently, KAPE has added coverage for tutoring outside the classroom. (i.e. private music lessons, coaching sessions, etc.) KAPE  has the most comprehensive unique coverage in the entire state and across other professional organizations and unions.

KEA’s legal policy is included in a document entitled, “Legal Assistance Policy of the KEA Board of Directors,” and notes that several issues of employment disputes may not allow an attorney to be provided to the member by KEA if support of that position is contrary to the goals or policies of KEA, or to any other determined legal case represented by KEA attorneys.  Most cases are limited to attorney’s fees up to $5000.00, with a referral of the teacher to the Cabinet of Families and Children limited to $8000.00 coverage of attorney’s fees, after which time all fees above these amounts are the responsibility of the member.  

Other Legal Services

KAPE attorneys (all licensed in Kentucky) will consult with any member without charge on any and all legal issues, with discounted services and referrals offered on any personal legal issue outside the scope of employment. 

KEA provides two free, 30-minute consultations per member for assistance with personal legal issues not related to employment.  

Support Services

KAPE has 15 regional representatives, 100+ school representatives, 30+ area/district representatives.

KAPE has an Executive Director who is a retired teacher.

KAPE’s main office is in Lexington.  The Lexington office has 4 employees who manage the financial transactions.  KAPE field reps work from their homes, and the executive director travels from district to district to meet with representatives and members. KAPE has a Board of Directors which is comprised of active and retired teachers and administrators who serve three-year terms.  

KAPE also has satellite offices in London and Clinton, KY. 

KEA has a staff of 70 employees in Frankfort and in field offices statewide.  There are 25 UniServ offices in the state. KEA also has building representatives with elected local officers working in each local education affiliate.  KEA has membership-elected delegates and officers who serve with NEA and attend annual meetings to cast votes in the policies and procedures of the NEA union.   KEA also claims affiliations with other labor unions, which offer support in protests, rallies, and a “show of force” in labor disputes. 


KAPE has three registered lobbyists who work in Frankfort and attend meetings relating to education issues and legislation.  KAPE encourages members to be educated voters, and to contact their representatives to voice their opinions. KAPE does not endorse nor support any particular political candidate, party, or platform.  KAPE does not represent members in collective bargaining. KAPE’s bylaws direct that KAPE cannot organize nor support work stoppages regarding public employees, including strikes or sick-outs. The executive director or Board of Directors does not endorse a position or any political agenda on behalf of the entire membership body, and offers no political persuasion for KAPE’s stance on issues, other than providing true and factual information to the members. Each member of KAPE, including KAPE reps, is free to support any political inclination they have, but no person is authorized to endorse a candidate or position on behalf of the entire organization.    

KEA and JCTA have over 7 full-time paid registered lobbyists who work in Frankfort to support bills or defeat legislation to which they are opposed.  KEA informs members of those candidates which they endorse and urge members to vote for that candidate. KEA also becomes involved in social issues and deposits money in state PACs, which are then forwarded to NEA to support their political candidates and platforms, including social agendas such as Planned Parenthood, Netroots, America Votes and Presidential campaigns. KEA promotes to legislators their authority and power.   Members are told they have the choice to “opt out” of their dues going to any political candidate, but are not given a discounted membership rate for this choice. Members do not have any selection in whether or not dues money is put into a PAC, nor what KEA or NEA does with the PAC funds, as that is determined at the executive level both for the state association and the national association. 

Professional Growth

KAPE has a committee of National Board Certified teachers who offer mentoring to any NB candidate, free of charge, whether they are a KAPE member or not.  KAPE offers opportunities for members to become KAPE representatives in their school, district, or area. KAPE attends Opening Day activities, Benefits Fairs, and new teacher orientations in numerous districts to offer support and answer questions. 

KEA offers several independent professional development sessions and workshops for members only.  They also publish a new teacher handbook which is provided to members only. KEA provides opportunities for members to serve as local association officers and as delegates to NEA. 


KAPE has professional liability insurance for $2,000,000 per member, per occurrence. KAPE also offers identity theft protection, personal property insurance, private tutoring, and coverage for after school supervision when activities are approved by the local Board of Education.  Over $5000.00 in scholarships are awarded annually. Many local businesses offer discounts to KAPE members. New teachers are also offered a one-time initial membership of $50.00 when sponsored by a current professional KAPE member. College students in undergraduate education programs are offered membership that is free of charge.  KAPE also sponsors students in Educators Rising.

KEA has a list of local businesses who will give discounts to KEA members.  They also provide a life insurance policy which is contingent upon a certain set of circumstances for payout to survivors or beneficiaries, and there are numerous exclusions.  KEA offers $40,000.00 annually in scholarships.

Other Affiliations

KAPE has no affiliations with any other organization, locally or nationally. 

KEA is a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), which is a registered labor union.  NEA has numerous and myriad affiliations, to which they contribute money. A detailed list of NEA contributions can be located at OpenSecrets.org, which allows copying with credit given. 

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