June 6, 2016
NEA Expects 1% Boost in Membership, Will Spend 2% More. The National Education Association drafted a $365 million budget for the 2016-17 school year, representing an increase of $7.6 million. The union expects an increase of 24,000 full-time teacher members and 4,000 education support employee members.
I do expect overall NEA membership will increase, though its reporting of numbers in the past has been – shall we say – inflationary. Still, there is reason to believe teachers’ unions and school districts both yearn for a return to the years of freehanded hiring – despite the lessons of Vermont, which is going through a divisive district consolidation plan because “We have too many adults for the number of kids we have.”
Until we can cobble together the state-by-state numbers, it remains to be seen whether increases will be limited to the large, collective bargaining states.
NEA has also made an overt commitment to something we have always believed to be true. Every union program and project, including its efforts to influence the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, will be tied to its priority of recruiting new members and “engaging” the ones who already belong. That’s its prerogative, but other stakeholders involved in the discussion who don’t take this into account will find themselves continually outmaneuvered by NEA.
Recent Intercepts. EIA’s daily blog, Intercepts, covered these topics June 1-6:
* Exclusive: CTA Pledges $25 Million to Tax Initiative. You can’t collect $36 per year per member and not spend it on something.
* Is Your School Board Signing Contracts Without Reading Them? Commitment before analysis.
* It Can Always Be Worse. Maintaining some perspective about America’s teachers’ unions.
* Virginia Education Association’s Finances. Cutting labor costs paid off.
Quote of the Week. “ESSA is 1,000 pages of ambiguity.” – Shelly Moore Krajacic, member of the National Education Association Executive Committee and head of the union’s Every Student Succeeds Act implementation task force, speaking to the NEA board of directors in April, and perhaps explaining why the union is so supportive of the new law.