Examining the role of the NEA(National education association interest group)

The NEA , the nations largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause for public education.  The primary goal for the NEA is to ensure teachers are being treated fairly and their members are protected. The NEA also has a goal of ensuring that the public education system thrives and helps students. The NEA relies on members to perform much of their work and provides a strong local, state, and national network in return. The NEA has managed to have a far reaching influence in American society at all levels and structures. The NEA wants to reform the NCLB act. It wants to change laws regarding charter schools. Increases education funding. They want to discourage school vouchers and all forms of competition from public schools. The NEA wants to repeal two aspects of the social security bill that they believe negatively impacts teachers. NEA has received criticism for many of its actions such as opposing measures that help bring disciplinary action and also they have opposed things such as merit pay and weakening of teacher tenure. In 2014 the NEA opposed the continuing appropriations resolution. They opposed the NCLB(No Child left behind) act. The NEA supports the EESA as they believe that it brought national attention to the equality of opportunity for poor kids and directing federal funds according to need rather than performance. The NEA allied with the Department of defense schools to oppose funding for the border wall so that schools with kids of military officials don’t lose funding. A bill that the NEA is pushing is the HR 4301 that will make the secretary of education work in conjunction with the Attorney general and the secretary of health and human services to publish an annual report on school crimes and safety. The NEA is heavily involved in litigation and defending its members and they file law suits against bills that don’t match their ideology. State affiliates of the NEA regularly lobby state legislators for funding, seek to influence education policy, and file legal actions. From 1989 to 2014 the NEA gave over 92 million dollars to political campaigns. Most of the NEA funding comes from dues paid by members(297 million/344 million budget). The NEA, at the local level, raises funds for scholarships, conducts professional development workshops, and bargains contracts for school employees. At the state level, they lobby legislators for funding, seek to influence legislation, and campaign for higher standards. The NEA at the federal level lobbies for its members. The NEA is the largest labor union in the US hence it has a powerful voice in the political arena.  The NEA has formed allies within the US house and senate and they give these people high ratings, which helps the candidates in elections, in return the elected officials help the NEA achieve its goals. A successful example of NEA achieving its goals was when it successfully sued the state of connecticut for underfunding the schools. The NEA targets the legislative branch of the government. The NEA lobbies at capitol hill and has formed and endorsed senators and house members. These members advocate for the policy positions of the NEA to get a favorable rating by them so that their electorate is happy. The NEA gives most to the education/labor committee and gives a significant amount to the Budget, Health, and Banking committees.  

   The NEA favors the democratic party. It contributes to them by donating money and providing political assistance. The NEA is very influential as it is largest  labor organization in the US and their vote often times gets streamlined if the heads endorse a party. The NEA has come up with a report card and a list of allies these people have favorable ratings in the NEA and people supporting the NEA can see the list. In around a hundred allies in the house only four are Republican . Endorsed senate officials include Elizabeth Warren, Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Jon Tester, and Jacky Rosen. NEA has donated the largest amounts to the Democratic Congressional committe, Million more voters, and Jobs education PAC. NEA in many ways is like a union designed for teachers rights and public school advocacy and such positions have historically been supported by democrats. Unions vote overwhelmingly Democrat. The NEA has always been opposed to Republican education secretary nominees such as Betsy de vos. NEA has many left of center positions. It opposes charter schools, vouchers, school competition, weakening of tenure, essentially all the positions that Republicans support. The NEA is for increasing spending in education; Republicans are viewed as people who want to cut spending. NEA has taken many liberal positions such as opposing the border wall. 

         The NEA is considered a group that has done the most for American teachers. It has been very effective in its work. They were able to relieve states from some of the mandates of the NCLB act. The NEA was effective in changing state policy in Indiana; they made poverty a big factor in fund allocation. In Maine in 2003 they lobbied for the passage of a bill called the “K-3 plus project”. One of the chief criticisms is that the NEA often puts the interests of teachers in front of the needs of the students they teach. ike any large organization, there have been internal scandals within the NEA including embezzlement and misspending

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