NEA Political Spending Analyzed

RiShawn Biddle breaks down the National Education Association’s (NEA) political spending (all $132 million of it) in Dropout Nation.  IN all but 24 states, the NEA (or any other teacher union) can force teachers to pay dues or support the union as a condition of employment.

In a debate interview with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Attorney Milton Chappell,  retired NEA General Counsel became so frustrated he revealed what is no secret to any forced-dues payer.  “So you tell me how I can possibly separate NEA’s collective bargaining efforts from politics—you just can’t. It’s all politics.” (Bob Chanin, NEA General Counsel, Unions Pull Out Stops for Elections, Jeff Archer, Education Week, 11/2/00).  CEAFU is a Special Project of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

The nation’s largest teachers’ unions spent $132 million on lobbying and contributions to what are supposed to be like-minded organizations, a slight increase over the $131 million poured into such activities last year. This, by the way, doesn’t include another $45 million spent on so-called representational activities which are almost always political in nature.

This past fiscal year, NEA poured plenty of money into Democracy Alliance, the secretive progressive group that played a big role in trying to elect Democratic candidates to national and state offices this year. As Dropout Nation reported earlier this month, NEA and AFT have worked hard to pull Democracy Alliance into its fold.