Amid substantial membership losses and a $14 million shortfall in its general operating budget, the National Education Association plans to double each active member’s annual contribution to the national union’s political and media funds.
Currently, $10 of each active member’s NEA dues is allocated to these special accounts. The more than $20 million collected each year is then disbursed to state affiliates and political issue campaigns – such as last year’s SQ 744 in Oklahoma. A portion of the money also pays for state and national media buys to support the union’s agenda.
But the most recent numbers show NEA lost more than 54,000 active K-12 members since this time last year. Coupled with less-than-expected increases in the average teacher salary – upon which NEA dues are based – the union will find itself with $14 million less revenue than it had planned. This includes about $500,000 less in the political and media funds.