HSLDA News
October 17, 2002

Where the NEA Gets Its Power

At HSLDA's National Center for Home Education, members often ask us why the National Education Association (NEA) is so powerful. Bob Williams of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation recently published some interesting numbers on the NEA's Washington state affiliate, the Washington Education Agency (WEA), which shed light on this issue.

In an article appearing in The School Choice Advocate (September 2002), Williams stated:

For each of the 75,396 members of . . . [WEA], $683 in wages is automatically withheld as 'dues' each year—a staggering $51,495,468 per year. Based on our investigations, no more than 20 percent of that amount is actually being used for traditional, chargeable union functions, such as collective bargaining [or] maintenance of the contract and grievances. The rest, $41,196,375 is used for other, mainly political purposes. This means one union in one state has more than $80 million to spend per two year election cycle. That is six to eight times the amount spent from voluntary sources by Republicans and Democrats in Washington State.

Homeschoolers should keep this in mind as they ponder the NEA's long held position that homeschooling should only be allowed if certified teachers and approved curriculum are involved. Eternal vigilance continues to be the price of freedom!