America’s largest teacher’s union is finally showing signs of antiquity and may be on the verge of irrelevancy.
At its latest convention, the National Education Association (voted to increase membership dues but from a declining base of members. The Education Reporter, a monthly newspaper published by the Eagle Forum, covered the NEA’s Atlanta conclave.
“Union President Dennis Van Roekel still claims three million NEA members, but the modified 2013-14 NEA Strategic Plan and Budget predicts 2,410, 200 full-time members,” the Education Reporter reported in its August issue. “Of those, 1,685,000 are ‘active teaching professionals.’”
“The balance is made up of those who do not pay as much in dues as teachers such as education support professionals, staff, substitutes, retired, and student members. Total NEA annual dues amount to over $347 million.”
“The union Executive Committee received a 3 % bonus at a time when other budget areas are being cut.” Meanwhile, although the union heartily dislikes President Obama’s Common Core initiative, the NEA delegates in Atlanta failed to pass any resolutions condemning the Obama Administration’s education programs. They did condemn the standardized tests that go with CC.
Perhaps the peak of the union’s influence came in the late 1970s when it got the Carter Administration to create a separate U. S. Department of Education despite the very public objections of high-profile liberal s such as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-New York, and Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D—Colorado, who argued that it would be too costly and cumbersome.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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