Teachers union spends more on Dem causes than its own members, analysis finds

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A new analysis of the National Education Association’s spending shows that in 2020-2021 the teachers union spent a fraction of its money on representing members and more than double that amount on political activities.

According to data compiled by Americans for Fair Treatment, 17.6% of the NEA’s spending went to political activities and lobbying, with just 8.6% going to representational activity. Political activities also accounted for more spending than employee benefits, which made up 15.1% of the organization’s expenditures.

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FILE - An attendee holds a sign during the National Education Association #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum in Houston, July 5, 2019. 

FILE – An attendee holds a sign during the National Education Association #StrongPublicSchools Presidential Forum in Houston, July 5, 2019. 
(Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The NEA spent a total of $374 million during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. A meager 9% of the union’s spending was on ‘representational activities,’ or money that is spent directly to support its members,” AFFT CEO David Osborne said in a statement. “In contrast, 18% went to political activities, while another 32% went to ‘contributions, gifts, and grants,’ spending that is also largely political in nature. Those numbers show where their priorities lie.”

“The National Education Association’s (NEA) political and charitable spending in 2020-2021 makes the NEA look more like a political organization than a membership organization,” Americans for Fair Treatment added in its report.

“Contributions, gifts and grants” was the NEA’s largest expense category at 31.5%, but the analysis showed that spending that falls under that label can also be political in nature as it included a $1 million contribution to the left-wing super PAC Future Forward USA Action.

Empty classroom. 

Empty classroom. 
(iStock)

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The NEA also has its own super PAC, NEA Advocacy Fund. The union gave $15.7 million to the super PAC between Sept. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021. It also gave $1.85 million to the Strategic Victory Fund super PAC, which contributes money to Democratic candidates and causes, and $6.7 million to the State Engagement Fund, which is part of the Democracy Alliance network that supports left-wing causes and candidates.

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The union’s political spending increased significantly over the previous year, from $51 million in 2020 to $66 million in 2021. It also brought in $377 million in member dues, ($200 annually per member), approximately $2 million more than the prior year, even though membership decreased by more than 65,000.

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