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The Politics of Education

One has to only scan the long list of resolutions adopted by the National Education Association to understand that it is a union with policy positions on political issues. It has almost no interest or stated position on improving academic achievement of students. The NEA is about benefits and policies to enhance the welfare of educators at taxpayers’ expense. Forbes magazine recently referred to the NEA as “the national extortion association” and accused it of corrupting public schools.

At its convention this year the NEA announced a $1000 subsidy to any NEA member who is appointed by the Democratic Party as a delegate to its national convention: $400 grant in cash, $400 in merchandise, and free airfare. The NEA has more delegates at the Democratic National Convention than any other group.

“Mary Elizabeth Teasley, director of government relations for the NEA, maintains that the NEA is not firmly aligned with Democrats and is ‘issues driven and party blind.’ However, the majority of NEA endorsements are overwhelming for Democrats. She noted that one-third of NEA members identify themselves as Republican; another third as Democrats; and the remaining third have no party affiliation.” (National Monitor of Education, April 1996)

Look at the contrast of how NEA and AFT funds are spent for political support of gananci.com¬†candidates. In the last election cycle about 99% of the teachers’ union money went to Democratic candidates.

 

Congressional Campaign Contributions
By the NEA and AFT
In Recent Two-Year Election Cycles

 

NEA

1993-94

1991-92

1989-90

Democratic candidates
receiving contributions

365

375

329

Total contributions to
Democrats

$2,230,050

$2,228,447

$2,168,000

Republican candidates
receiving contributions

13

32

45

Total contributions to
Republicans

$25,800

$82,175

$14,910

AFT

1993-94

1991-92

1989-90

Democratic candidates
receiving contributions

243

246

234

Total contributed to
Democrats

$1,278,690

$1,077,400

$99,350

Republican candidates
receiving contributions

6

14

18

Total contributed to
Republicans

$11,000

$23,850

$25,050

 

 

 

Source:  Federal Election Commission

 

If you want to see the fangs of this political education monster, just challenge the authority of the system; just merely suggest that parents should have a say so in their child’s sex education or that psychological testing and treatment of children at school should be under the direction of parents. In this year’s Georgia legislative session when a bill was introduced to require parental consent for a minor to access pornography in public libraries, it brought the education establishment and their allies the ACLU and People for the American Way down on the heads of legislators.

Legislators, particularly in the Democratic Party, do the bidding of the education power structure. My experience in legislative issues and as a member of the State School Improvement Panel is that the education establishment’s primary political objective is to protect the turf and authority it has.

Almost without exception any issue that transfers power, authority, or decision making to the parent is resisted. Anything that maintains or strengthens power, authority, or decision making by the government system is supported. The educational benefit to students and rights of parents are systematically sacrificed on the altar of political power to maintain the structure.

Politicians are quick to tell you privately that they agree with your cause, but they can’t vote for bills that protect children and parental rights because of the power of the education system. In 1996 the Georgia Association of Educators supports no Republican candidates in Georgia. Yet 80% of our U.S. Congressmen are Republicans. Obviously, the GAE does not represent the teachers or citizens of Georgia.