Delegates submitted six constitutional amendments for debate and secret ballot vote at the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly in Minneapolis. Three of these are worth noting.
One would change the frequency of the RA from annual to biennial. This was on the ballot this year and fell far short of the required two-thirds majority, netting only 18 percent.
Another would “establish the Representative Assembly as the only body to recommend or endorse Presidential candidates for both the primary and general election.” This is meant to address the controversy surrounding the endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2015. Attempts to alter the procedure were unsuccessful this year.
Finally, there is an amendment “to open NEA membership to public education allies while preserving NEA governance positions for education professionals and active equivalents.” This was previously proposed in 2005 and 2006, going down to defeat both times. I referred to this at the time as the NEA Fan Club, since the dues would have been $25 annually in order to receive a newsletter, a page on the NEA web site, and some pizza coupons or something.
It wasn’t until the 2006 convention that I discovered its true purpose: NEA Fan Club members could receive PAC solicitations from the union!