1) How Much Return Do Teachers Get on
NEA's $15 Million Indiana Real Estate Investment?
At the 2010 National Education Association Representative Assembly,
delegates emphasized fiscal prudence. They consistently voted down new
business items with a large price tag, and discussed the need to marshal
resources for coming electoral and legislative battles.
The disciplined approach seems to be
paying off, with NEA showering
California with millions for ballot initiatives. As substantial as those
contributions are, they fall short of the $14.9 million the national union
invested last year in Indiana real estate.
The convention delegates argued over
dimes, but not one raised the issue of this money. NEA established a
trusteeship over a fiscally distressed Indiana State Teachers Association
and lent the affiliate $6.6 million over a two-week period in June 2009.
ISTA was severely limited in its ability to repay the debt, so
NEA created a real estate subsidiary in July 2009 for the sole purpose
of purchasing three ISTA buildings.
In September 2009, NEA transferred $14.9
million to NEA Properties, Inc. as its initial capital investment. NEA
Properties then sent almost $14.7 million to ISTA in exchange for "three
commercial office buildings appraised at $14,000,000 and cash and current
assets valued at $1,125,712. NEA Properties, Inc. assumed liabilities
totaling $431,727." ISTA then immediately repaid its cash debt to NEA, but
the organization is now a renter, with NEA Properties as landlord.
ISTA solvency is still a long way off,
and in the meantime NEA members are on the hook. Readers with knowledge of
real estate can make their own judgment about the purchase price by
next-to-last page of ISTA's IRS report, signed by NEA Trustee Edward
Sullivan in July 2009.
isn't all bad. NEA Properties was able to lease 1,300 square feet of office
space to a
2) Ohio Education Association Strike:
Sides Far Apart. Staff strikes at NEA affiliates
tend to end abruptly, but if the figures I have are any indication, this one
may go on for awhile.
According to OEA management, its last
contract proposal was a 1 percent raise over 16 months, while the staff
union asked for 6.75 percent over two years. The union currently contributes
17 percent of salary to the staff pension plan. Management claims the staff
union wants this increased to 25 percent and fully paid retiree health
insurance for life.
3) More District Spending Tables
Posted. I've posted
updated spending tables for each school district in
There are many more states to do, so the
analysis will have to wait. Go ahead and get a head start.
4) Last Week's Intercepts.
Intercepts, covered these topics from August 30-September 7:
Education Association Employees on Strike. Violence on the picket line!
The Ohio Education Association and Its Goose. Hiss.
LA Times Gives Teachers the Star Treatment. The teacher box
Labor Department Declares AFT Trusteeship Unlawful… and Moot. Justice
delayed is justice denied in Oregon...
Judge Strikes Down AFT Administratorship Over DC Teachers Union. ...but
squeezes in under the wire in DC.
At the University of Baltimore, the Zombies Will Starve. BRAINS!
5) Quote of the Week #1.
"While the National Education Association Representative
Assembly supports and appreciates the significant increase in federal
funding for education, the NEA takes a position of no confidence in the US
Department of Education's Race to the Top competitive grant policies and
guidelines, the use of competitive grant policies and guidelines as a basis
for the reauthorization of ESEA, and similar initiatives and policies that
undermine public education." - the text of New Business Item 2,
approved by the 2010 National Education Association Representative Assembly,
July 4, 2010.
Quote of the Week #2.
congratulate the 10 winners of the final round of funding in the Race to the
Top competition. Most of the winners, like Delaware and Tennessee in the
first round, reflect the value of collaboration among unions, administrators
and state governments, which is essential in transforming public schools and
sustaining the changes that benefit students." - NEA President Dennis Van
August 24, 2010.