Thursday, October 15, 2009

Teacher's Unions Exposed

National Education Association (NEA)
National Headquarters
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Basic Facts:
Total Receipts - $352,958,087
Political Activities and Lobbying - $32,246,304
Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $80,588,440
Members - 3,167,612
[source: NEA’s 2007 LM-2 filing with the U.S. Department of Labor]
The National Education Association is the largest union in the U.S. and one of the most powerful political forces in the nation.

The NEA largely escapes public notice as a union, but its attitude should be a front-burner concern for parents. The NEA’s Oregon affiliate has stated that “[t]he major purpose of our association is not the education of children, rather it is, or ought to be the extension and/or preservation of our members’ rights.”

Like almost all unions, the NEA vigorously fights competition. The organization challenges any hint of education reform that would increase teacher accountability or allow for charter schools or other forms of school choice. In 1993, Forbes reported:

[L]ast year the NEA-affiliated California Teachers Association used unprecedented tactics to disrupt the effort to place a school initiative on the ballot - including blocking would-be signators’ access to the petition in shopping malls, allegedly sabotaging the petition with fake names and offering a signature-collecting firm $400,000 to decline the account.

And the NEA isn’t afraid to align itself with disreputable organizations to achieve its goal of killing reform. It gave a large grant to a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which has been tied to voter fraud in a dozen states, government-grant fraud, and even union-busting. The purpose of the money was simply listed as “NCLB” -- No Child Left Behind, the legislative bane of the union's existence.

NEA’s philosophy
To read about the radical roots of the NEA’s philosophy, click here.That the NEA would give money to ACORN -- and nearly $250,000 of its members’ money to a 2004 political campaign in Florida run by ACORN and beset by allegations of voter fraud -- begins to make sense in light of the groups’ shared radical philosophy. Both organizations were profoundly influenced by Rules for Radicals author and self-avowed Marxist Saul Alinsky, whose teachings advocated that education union organizers not let teachers “fraternize with the enemy” because “distance helps you polarize the issue.” The “singleness of purpose” a union organizer must have, wrote Alinsky, is “the ability to build a power base.”

Author Peter Brimelow has gone so far as to allege that “[t]he entire raison d’etre of the National Education Association is political. It’s engaged in what economists call rent-seeking -- using political and institutional power to extract money from society.” The NEA reported spending $25 million on political activities in its fiscal year 2005. But financial disclosures don’t show the full extent of the power of the union, which also boasts an army of paid political operatives that is bigger than the staff of the Republican and Democratic National Committees combined.

There is no doubt where the union’s political allegiances lie, even if they don’t correspond to their members’ political beliefs. Between 1990 and 2008, ninety-three percent of donations made by National Education Association political action committees and individual officers went to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But the NEA admits that only 45 percent of public school teachers are Democrats.

In its fiscal year 2007, the NEA spent $80.5 million — more than 20 percent of its entire budget — on “contributions, gifts and grants” that largely funded left-wing and non-education-related causes, including drives to raise the minimum wage and campaigns to kill Social Security reform. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted, the union's financial disclosure forms “expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students.” Left-leaning recipients of teachers’ forced dues include the following organizations:

•American Rights at Work
•Americans United for Separation of Church and State
•Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
•Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
•Ballot Initiative Strategy Center
•Business and Professional Women/USA
•Campaign for America’s Future
•Center for Community Change
•Center for Policy Alternatives
•Children’s Defense Fund
•Communities for Quality Education
•Communities United to Strengthen America
•Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
•Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
•Democratic GAIN
•Democratic Leadership Council
•Early Vote Denver
•Economic Policy Institute
•Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
•Human Rights Campaign
•Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
•Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
•Latina Initiative
•Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
•League of Rural Voters
•Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
•National Association for Bilingual Education
•National Council of La Raza
•National Partnership for Women & Families
•National Women’s Law Center
•People for the American Way
•RainbowPUSH Coalition
•Sierra Club
•Southern Christian Leadership Conference
•The Citizenship Project
•The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
•The Task Force Foundation
•Women’s Campaign Forum
•Women’s Voices, Women Vote

No comments:

Post a Comment