No official statement from anyone on this yet, but it isn’t just gossip either. Here are the relevant features from the best source I can find – an active NEA member from Pennsylvania:
Leadership at the National Education Association (NEA) has been making troubling moves toward endorsing Clinton that could commit the organization to supporting the Democratic presidential hopeful with no regard for the wishes of its 3.2 million members (sic).
An endorsement could come as early as Oct. 2-3 when President Lily Eskelsen Garcia is expected to propose a primary endorsement of Clinton at the NEA Board meeting, according to multiple NEA sources. Then the PAC council would vote. If approved, it would go to the board for a final decision.
However, since this is only an endorsement for the primary election, the matter would not need to go before the Representative Assembly (RA). In effect, the move could sidestep the voices of the RA’s 8,000 delegates representing state and local affiliates, student members, retired members, and other segments of the united education profession.
The decision would be made by a handful of leaders and the PAC council. Though there are thousands of PAC council votes, they are distributed by the amount of money raised by each state’s members. This means that little states like Delaware – where members donate greatly – have a larger vote relative to their membership than other states.
The voices of the great majority of members would be silenced.
Already leadership at the highest levels seems to be trying to consolidate Clinton support.
Last Wednesday NEA Directors were invited to an hour-long conference call with Clinton. Few directors were allowed to ask questions and only if those questions had been submitted in advance.
After Clinton left the call, only three state presidents had a moment to speak; all gave positive reflections on Clinton and how she supports teachers and public education.
Despite the fact that several Democrats have been courting the NEA’s endorsement, only Clinton was invited to this call.
It’s slowly building on Twitter (#NoEarlyEndorsementNEA) but hasn’t caught fire yet.
There is significant sentiment within NEA for Sanders, and probably a good amount for Biden, should he run. But a large number of NEA activists have been waiting 8 years or longer to put Hillary in the White House and they won’t be denied. Whether NEA’s endorsement comes early or not, it’s Hillary’s to lose.