Definitive membership numbers for the National Education Association are not as easy to obtain as they used to be, and when they do appear, sources often confuse timelines (May, September and December numbers are very different) and categories (total, active, ESP and certificated all yield different numbers). Coupled with the fact that official numbers sometimes defy common sense, and reporting accurately becomes troublesome.
However, if we accept the 3,269,523 total members reported by the union in December 2009 as the high-water mark, then NEA has lost more than 95,000 members in the last 18 months. Virtually all of these appear to be working K-12 teachers and education support personnel.
Forty state affiliates reported losses compared to last year at the same time. The union expects a further loss of 30,000 active members this year.
In response, NEA is proposing about $14 million in budget adjustments – in line with what EIA reported back in February.