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Thursday, August 07, 2008

The NEA Taxpayer and Membership Shakedown

You may remember from my piece on Wal-Mart a few days ago that I'm not a big fan of unions, especially those which engage in political activities with the dues paid by union members.

A couple of days ago, the Wall Street Journal had an update on the "Extracurricular Politics" of the National Education Association (NEA).

You get some crazy stuff coming out of the education establishment these days. You would expect a segment of society that is (ostensibly) dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding to always do the smartest thing possible.

Instead, it seems the education establishment does some of the dumbest things possible, like this lawsuit in South Dakota where you have education groups--and even the schools themselves--trying to sue the state government for more taxpayer money. In other words, you have government using taxpayer money to sue government for more taxpayer money.

Can you say, "Duh"? I knew you could.

But maybe it's not about doing the smart thing; maybe it's about doing the self-interested thing. That's something the NEA knows a lot about.

If you don't already know about the NEA's tactics, it can be an education to find out what this group, ostensibly there to better your child's education, does that may run counter to your own values.

The Wall Street Journal piece points out that the NEA spent $2.3 million in the 2007-08 fiscal year to fight a voucher referendum in Utah. Not only did this educational group fight democracy itself, they did so on an issue that could have improved educational quality and opportunity for the children of Utah. In other words, the NEA isn't interested in the quality of your child's education, just keeping their nest feathered.

The piece says the NEA also spent $20,000 to conduct polling on a state constitutional convention in Hawaii. And $60,000 to oppose a state income tax repeal in Massachusetts (how is taking sides in an income tax issue supposed to improve your child's education?). Or $200,000 to oppose property tax cuts in Florida.

These are just a handful of examples.

Can you say, "The NEA is about feathering its nest at taxpayer expense"? I knew you could.

How could it possibly be summed up better than the way the piece ends:

It's a shame the NEA doesn't spend as much money and effort trying to improve lousy schools as it does trying to keep taxes high.


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