NEA’s PR Machine

Each NEA member contributes to the union’s Media Fund, which is spent on national communications projects and grants to state affiliates. In the just completed school year, NEA sent $886,700 to seven affiliates in the following amounts:

Florida Education Association – $200,000
Wisconsin Education Association Council – $186,000
Oklahoma Education Association – $175,000
South Carolina Education Association – $98,200
NEA Rhode Island – $92,500
NEA New Mexico – $85,000
Arizona Education Association – $50,000

The national portion was spent in numerous ways, but these particular expenditures will probably be of most interest to outsiders:

To confront ongoing attacks on public education, NEA continued our partnership with Media Matters for America, which supports a team dedicated to monitoring, fact-checking, and improving national media coverage of education issues. They also produced a “map” of the interconnections of the far-right infrastructure dedicated to the privatization of our public schools—making it far easier to explain how mega-donors like the Walton Family Foundation and others are funding groups to release pro-privatization research, the pundits who promote those findings and finally, the groups that implement the work on the ground.

NEA also partnered with Netroots Nation, the country’s largest gathering of progressive activists and journalists, to promote NEA’s issue advocacy on charter accountability, equity, and other key education issues.

National media funds supported prominent positioning for NEA at the 2017 Education Writers Association (EWA) national conference held in Washington D.C. in June. This year’s conference featured NEA leaders and voices who led a discussion of “A New Era for Education and the Press.” EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat.