- Ben Cooper
Arizona Teachers Unions Roll in Cash
Teachers Unions are the largest labor unions in almost any city, state and even the nation. Their finances are impressive and they are a dominant political force of the left and far left.
The United States has about 3.5 Million pubic/government school teachers. The two largest national teachers unions have a combined total membership of around 4 Million public/government education workers, which includes administrators. Members typically pay dues of between a few hundred and over a thousand dollars per year. To opt out of the teachers union, teachers can follow this link.
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According to IRS filings, in 2019, the Arizona Education Association took in $5.8 Million from member dues. In 2019 the AEA spent:
$112,200 on political lobbying
$163,900 on outside organizations
$357,300 on attorneys/legal
$291,500 on hotels and travel for union staff
The AEA paid at least 41 officers and employees in calendar year 2018, six of whom were paid six figures. Executive director Mark Simons’ compensation was $221,400.
The Chandler Education Association, CEA, is a local affiliate of the AEA. CEA President Katie Nash is a regular speaker at school board meetings, calling for higher taxes, mask and vaccine mandates, school closures with online learning and the teaching of racism and socialism in public schools.
The AEA in turn is an affiliate of the National Education Association, NEA. The NEA is the largest labor union in the United States, with 2.3 Million members. It collected $375 million from its members in fiscal year 2020. Here are some spending highlights:
$50.7 million on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying
$120 million on largely ideological organizations. This includes $150,000 donated to the Advancement Project, an organization that actively supports efforts to “wholly dismantle” the police and prison system. NEA also gave $17 million to the Strategic Victory Fund, a super PAC that has financially supported Planned Parenthood.
$9.2 million for union staff and hotel venues, including $596,000 for a conference at a four-star Hilton hotel in Orlando, FL
$10 million on attorneys/consultants
The NEA paid 693 officers and employees in 2020, 403 of whom were paid six figures. NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia received $416,568.
The second largest labor union in the country is the American Federation of Teachers, AFT. It is headed by Randi Weingarten, a personal friend of Hillary Clinton. The AFT represents 1.7 Million education workers. Weingarten is paid close to $600,000 per year. When the AFT endorsed Clinton in the 2016 primaries, AFT members criticized this move. Not because they preferred a Republican, but because many members supported socialist Bernie Sanders.
CEA, AEA, NEA and AFT all support Black Lives Matter, anti-racism (meaning anti-white racism), social justice, equity, school equity, critical race theory and whatever other names have been given to the ethno-socialist ideology of the far left. More than 95% of the political donations of teachers unions go to Democrats. Teachers unions are the largest political donor in the United States, giving more than any other organization, including corporations.
How to Change the Situation
Parents and taxpayers should be under no illusion as to who runs public schools. The teachers unions do. Because we let them. And we have to be honest about who runs the teachers unions, public school teachers. There of course are many excellent teachers, even some of those who are Democrats. Not every Democrat is a rabid ethno-socialist. However, by and large the more radical elements and ideas of the left come out of education.
This means that if you are a Republican, conservative, libertarian, a moderate or even a normal JFK-type Democrat then your political opposition every day stands in front of your children, teaching them to hate themselves, their country, their culture and their parents. Unless school is closed of course, and unionized public school teachers give their lessons from some resort in Florida or the Bahamas, while cashing in "poverty wages" that are actually far above the average wages of the people. In the Chandler Unified School District, CUSD80, for example, teachers get paid an average $65,000 per year, for 8 to 9 months of work. The average Chandler resident on the other hand makes $45,000 a year, for 11 to 12 months of work per year.
How can this situation be changed? First, realize you're in a fight, not a polite argument among friends. Second, realize that the radical left has had decades to take over the education system, while the Republican establishment was - and often still is - mostly asleep at the wheel. Reversing course will take a long time. Third, logistics: to change things, you have to change the people. This means recruiting good school board candidates who are willing to fight. If you can take over a school board, you can fire the superintendent and replace him or her with somebody who in turn will clean house and purge the radicals. Fourth, persistence. Parents and taxpayers have to keep watching. Even school board candidates they get onto the board may end up not performing strongly and have to be replaced again. Fifth, stop funding your political opposition. Stop being morally blackmailed by "it's for the children" when the next override, bond or other monetary initiative is put on the ballot. It's not for the children. It's for jobs, positions, salaries, money, political power and influence. The current educational establishment cares very little about the well being and education of your children. Act accordingly.