Monday, January 12, 2009

More Education Tax Dollars Wasted on Union Members.

400 million education tax dollars that do not help students in the classroom. NEA to Spend $250,000 on Obama Inauguration. Hat tip to the Education Intelligence Agency for publishing the following information.


1) NEA to Spend $250,000 on Inauguration. The National Education Association will spend up to $250,000 on activities related to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Part of the money will be used to pay for "NEA presence at appropriate events."

With large Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, the union is also setting its priorities and is expected to concentrate on a handful of issues, including education funding, NCLB reauthorization, health care, GPO/WEP and "21st century skills" (which I would support if they were defined as the ability to detect, analyze and evaluate hogwash).

The only good news for education reformers is that NEA realizes it has to make some movement on the alternative compensation front (merit pay, performance pay and differential pay all being taboo terms), but hasn't figured out how to do it "without creating internal association strife."

NEA expects membership growth to flatten considerably in the next few years (not if the history of school hiring is any indication), but income is certainly not an issue. NEA's annual take is approaching the $400 million threshold. The union is so flush with cash that even in an election year it spent only $13 million out of an available $20.4 million from its Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund, a national war chest funded by a $10 assessment from each member.

In addition to the inaugural expenditures, NEA will also send $250,000 to the National Coalition on Health Care, and $1 million to Communities for Quality Education, an NEA front group created as "America Learns" in 2004. No word on whether CQE will use some of the money to finally update its web site.

EIA will have much more on NEA spending next week.

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