An initiative on the November ballot in Massachusetts would lift the state’s cap on charter schools just enough to allow 12 new charters or expansions of existing charters each year. That seems relatively innocuous as political issues go, but the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) has made the referendum its line in the sand. It is devoting $9.2 million of its own budget to defeating the measure, titled Question 2.
But why limit yourself to spending millions of Massachusetts teacher dues when you can get access to more than a million dollars of dues from teachers in other states? Just prior to the opening of the National Education Association Representative Assembly in Washington DC, the national union’s board of directors approved a $1.4 million grant to MTA from its Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund to support the anti-charter campaign.
The NEA budget isn’t broken down to this level of detail, but I’m willing to wager that this single grant exceeds the national union’s annual spending on organizing and representing the charter school teachers in its ranks.