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October 22, 2012

1)  15 NEA State Affiliates Ran Budget Deficits, 25 Saw Decline in Dues Income. An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of Internal Revenue Service filings reveals 15 NEA state affiliates experienced budget deficits in the 2010-11 school year, while the dues revenues for 25 state affiliates dropped off from the previous year.

The union as a whole lost 2 percent of its active membership that year, but increases in dues rates were able to limit the revenue losses to 0.3 percent (about $3.7 million). It's likely that the losses accelerated in 2011-12.

EIA created a table, now posted on its web site, that lists the financial figures for NEA and each of its 53 "state" affiliates (50 states plus the directly affiliated Federal Education Association, which represents NEA teachers overseas and on military bases, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, and the Utah School Employees Association). The numbers include each union's dues revenues, revenues from sources other than members' state dues (advertising income from union publications, grants from NEA, et al.), and the amount devoted to employee compensation. The statistics do not include the income of any of NEA's 14,000 locals.

The numbers in the table include not only salaries and benefits for current teacher union staff, but set-asides for their pensions and post-retirement health care. Twenty affiliates were able to reduce spending on staff compensation, partially through a reduction of 111 people, but the overall total still increased 1.2 percent from 2009-10. Dues revenue collected by the Michigan Education Association and the Oklahoma Education Association was insufficient to cover the costs of their employees' and retirees' pay and benefits.

The 15 affiliates that spent more than they took in from all sources were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, UHPA and USEA.

Despite these financial hardships, it is important to note that total dues income for NEA and its state affiliates still exceeded $1.4 billion for the year.

These figures provide a single-year snapshot of the union's budgetary health, but next week EIA will also provide statistics and analysis of the long-term trends and outlook for the state affiliates. Which states will weather the storm and which are in serious financial straits? What's the single largest threat to NEA's bottom line? The answer might surprise you.

2)  Last Week's Intercepts. EIA's blog, Intercepts, covered these topics from October 16-22:

*  Democracy Needs "Stupidity." Pay attention to the experts, but don't give them veto power.

Need a Break from Teaching? Call CTA. Where's your kid's regular teacher?

Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana. Here comes the refrain.

Guerrilla War Over Merit Pay in Michigan. Work to rule.

"…and ultimately you run out of money." Who's suffering in California?

3)  Quote of the Week. "It's kind of beautiful. In the end, maybe it ends up helping me more that they didn't endorse me." - Nicole LeFavour, former teacher and Democratic nominee for Idaho's 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. LeFavour claims the number of teacher volunteers and donations to her campaign increased after the Idaho Education Association endorsed her opponent, incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Simpson. (October 17 KIVI-TV)


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