Another year, another reminder that the National Education Association (NEA) is a far-left organization that is grossly out of step with the views of millions of teachers and works diligently to maintain the failed status quo for children. At the union’s convention this year, labor leadership endorsed resolutions, amendments, and new business items that seem far from benefiting their members or improving education.
The NEA’s new business items included:
- Support for the DREAM Act: “New Business Item 11. Consistent with relevant NEA documents, the NEA will continue to support the passage of the Dream Act or any similar federal legislation that provides a pathway for undocumented college students to obtain a Green Card and eventual citizenship.”
- Support for single-payer health care: “New Business Item 19. NEA will join with other unions in the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Healthcare to amplify our advocacy for universal single payer health care.”
- Support for liberal political activism: “New Business Item 91. (referred to executive committee) Through existing media, NEA will support, publicize, and encourage members to participate in the ‘Rebuild the Dream’ movement launched by Van Jones, moveon.org and others.”
- Opposition to alternative teaching recruitment: “New Business Item 93. NEA will publicly oppose Teach for America (TFA) contracts when they are used in Districts where there is no teacher shortage or when Districts use TFA agreements to reduce teacher costs, silence union voices, or as a vehicle to bust unions.”
Conservative teachers in forced-unionism states are being forced to support such actions. In 28 forced-unionism states, educators must join the union and fork over hundreds of dollars in dues each year if they wish to teach. And by the NEA’s own admission, 50 percent of the union’s members consider themselves more conservative than liberal, meaning a great number of teachers are being forced to support liberal causes to which they are philosophically opposed.
But it’s not just teachers. Taxpayers are also supporting the NEA’s efforts in supporting Obamacare and working with Moveon.org. Funding for local school systems gleaned from taxpayers directly finances teacher salaries, a portion of which goes to union dues.
To that end, the newly adopted bylaw amendment 3 increases member dues by $10, 60 percent of which will be used “to assist state affiliates in dealing with ballot measures and legislative crises.”
It’s not just children across the country who are being adversely affected by special interest groups like the NEA, who work to oppose reform efforts such as school choice. Teachers and other education employees should have a choice in whether they join a union and a choice in whether a portion of their salaries are used to support causes with which they may not agree.