Each year, each active member of the National Education Association contributes $12 directly to the union’s Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund (another $8 goes to a national media fund). The money is then disbursed to state affiliates that either want to place an initiative on the ballot, or to fight one they oppose.
This is a pretty good chunk of change, but the union doesn’t create or face major ballot initiatives every year, and so the money rolls over. For the 2017-18 school year, NEA will have $49.1 million available to distribute.
Some of it will go to the Oregon Education Association for its second crack at a corporate tax initiative. The California Teachers Association might also want to help sponsor a property tax initiative in 2018. But however it is parceled out, it’s enough money to tip the scales in the union’s favor in key campaigns.