No Takers for Washington Education Association Headquarters

We reported last October about the failed efforts of the Washington Education Association to sell its headquarters building. The union was asking $11.4 million for the 59,000-square-foot building, but also wanted to remain as lease occupants.

This apparently didn’t appeal to buyers, and WEA withdrew the listing last August. Now comes word that the union has abandoned plans to sell.

The union’s last IRS disclosure report showed net assets of negative $37 million, so it will need to find a different option to close that gap.

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This Time for Sure!

This summer, delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly will vote – for the fifth time – on whether to allow non-educators to join the union as “community allies.” These members would pay $25 a year for the right to be badgered for PAC contributions.

Needing a two-thirds majority to pass, the proposal received 61 percent of the delegate vote last year. NEA won’t kid around to get those last few votes to push this thing over the top. The union distributed a slick 10-page booklet to the delegates that mostly describes all the rights community allies won’t have.

They won’t be able to serve as national union officers in any capacity, or to vote for them. They can’t serve as delegates nor be appointed to a committee. They won’t be a member of a state or local affiliate, so they “are not permitted to participate as a member in any respect in the affairs of any state or local affiliate.”

The good news (?) is each community ally would be eligible to contribute up to $5,000 to the NEA political action committee. The bad news is they wouldn’t have the right to participate in the PAC candidate recommendation process, so they would have no input into where their money went.

I have a better deal. Send me just $20 a year and you can keep your $5,000 to spend on the candidate of your choice. And you would never need to hear from me again.

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Um, I’m Noticing a Trend

* “The indicators of notable concern are: Inability to consider long-term effects of collective bargaining agreements…” – Debra Duardo, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, in a March 29 letter to the Los Angeles Unified school board, detailing worrisome aspects of the district’s financial practices.

* “Despite improvements, Oakland Unified’s fiscal practices continue to be ‘dysfunctional,’ he added. A key example, he said, was the district’s failure to calculate the cost of its tentative agreement with the teachers’ union before approving it last month.” – from an April 4 EdSource story, quoting Michael Fine, CEO of the Fiscal Crisis Management and Assistance Team.

* “Dave Gordon, the [Sacramento] county superintendent of education, told school board members that night they couldn’t afford the deal they had cut with teachers. Here is what Gordon said in a written report that he presented to the board: ‘Based on the review of the multi-year projections provided by the district, our office has concerns over the district’s ability to afford this compensation package and maintain fiscal solvency’.” – from an April 9 Sacramento Bee story detailing the events of a December 2017 school board meeting.

* “(Sacramento City Unified School District) approved a new collective bargaining agreement that they knew they couldn’t afford, and that results in a need to make some budget adjustments so they can afford it. We’re basically 1 ½ years later, and we’re still dealing with the need to make budget adjustments.” – Fine again, in an April 11 interview with KCRA TV.

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