Will Election Investment Help Teachers Unions Out of Their Financial Hole?

posted at 7:49 pm on November 12, 2012 by Mike Antonucci

It is easy to forget that teachers’ unions are private entities, with income, expenditures and bottom lines that ultimately determine their health and effectiveness. Their revenues, however, are almost the entirely the result of the dues payments of public employees. If unions increase dues, the onus is on the  members. It is much better for them to increase the public education workforce, thereby bringing in new revenue and easing the burden on the existing rank-and-file.

It will be a high priority for the teachers’ unions to put a stop to layoffs and reignite the hiring binge that gave them the power they enjoy today. Teachers’ unions experienced decades of non-stop growth, and the recent economic downturn put them in an internal budget situation they were not used to dealing with. Whatever the effects of the November 2012 election on education policy, the larger issue is whether education policy will play second fiddle to the internal imperatives of the teachers’ unions – more members and less red ink.

An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of 2010-11 Internal Revenue Service filings reveals five of the eight largest teacher union local affiliates in the nation operated with budget deficits. Half of the 36 largest locals saw their dues revenue decrease from the previous year.

Most of these locals are either affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers, or jointly affiliated with AFT and the National Education Association. AFT’s governance structure is largely centered on its locals, just as NEA’s is centered on its state affiliates, which had their own financial troubles. The largest teachers’ union local in the U.S., the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, accumulated dues revenue of $125.5 million in 2010-11, but still ran an $11.8 million deficit due to a 12.1% increase in employee compensation costs.

The United Teachers Los Angeles, United Teachers of Dade, Broward Teachers Union, and United Educators of San Francisco were the other four top locals to experience deficits.

Other locals may have been in the black but are still on shaky ground. Figures for the Washington Teachers Union for 2010-11 were unavailable, while the Detroit Federation of Teachers’ small surplus did not cover the $1.4 million it still owed AFT.

Just like NEA’s state affiliates, a number of locals were able to achieve pension liability relief to improve their bottom lines. But, ironically, high personnel costs are the main roadblock to the unions’ long-term financial stability.

EIA has posted a table on its web site listing the dues revenue of the 36 largest locals, along with their other revenues, number of employees, their total compensation, and their budget deficit status.

I’ve warned previously that budget troubles don’t necessarily lead to less political power for the teachers’ unions, but they will have thrown good money after bad if they don’t receive some sort of tangible payoff for helping to elect friendly Democrats and defeat hostile ballot initiatives. If you want to gauge how well the teachers’ unions did in this election cycle, don’t look at merit pay or tenure reform or charter schools. Watch where your tax dollars go.


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…FLUKE THEM!

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of 2010-11 Internal Revenue Service filings reveals five of the eight largest teacher union local affiliates in the nation operated with budget deficits. Half of the 36 largest locals saw their dues revenue decrease from the previous year

…YEP!…THEY’RE TRUE BLUE DEMS!

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Watch where your tax dollars go.

…why?…is there going to be another stimulus package?

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM

…oh oh!

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

…everybody napping?

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

We’ll be paying that, along with bailing out California and Illinois and the Chicago school system. Oh yes.

M240H on November 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

H E L L O…!!!

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

It is easy to forget that teachers’ unions are private entities, with income, expenditures and bottom lines that ultimately determine their health and effectiveness.

Effectiveness as a union, right? Because they have failed the children for decades.

Happy Nomad on November 12, 2012 at 7:58 PM

In one of the greatest ironies of the past 4 years the Obama admin weakened tenure and got states to establish evaluation systems that punish rather then measure most teachers. No Child Left Behind set up a teaching standard for schools, Race to the Top goes after teachers.

rob verdi on November 12, 2012 at 7:58 PM

One thing the election told us is the public can’t connect mneoy for education to anything but improved school and not the reality of the situation which is fatter pockets for the teachers union.

I don’t have any faith the public understands that education funding doesn’t go into raising school achievement and if it did I want an explantion why they refused to teach our kids till they got more money.

It all has to burn to the ground. i don’t say that lightly.

Conan on November 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM

No Child Left Behind set up a teaching standard for schools, Race to the Top goes after teachers.

rob verdi on November 12, 2012 at 7:58 PM

With good reason! Plenty of good teachers in the system but at least as many bad teachers whose performance is to be condemned. Look at the graduation rates of any urban school system and you see how deplorable the situation is. A bunch of DMV clerks running education and thinking they are “educators” because they have a worthless college degree.

Happy Nomad on November 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM

My school district is very small. A graduating class is not more than 500 students a year. Four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. They had a ballot request for $36 million dollars for improvements. I voted no. Make do with what you have for a few more years. The teachers are lucky to have steady jobs. No sympathy from me.

Night Owl on November 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

H E L L O…!!!

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

.
I’m sorry, no one is available to take your call ….. please leave your name, number, and a brief message at the sound of the tone ….. and someone will get back to you ….. BEEP …..

listens2glenn on November 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Happy Nomad ,
The problem is the system the state of New York established is so ridiculous and defeats the purpose of its original intent.

rob verdi on November 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Here is my personal tragedy for the year 2012…

For Sale: 1984 Corvette.

SWalker on November 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

teachers are pretty much in the catbirds seat now. locally there was a prop tax increase vote a couple of years ago…passed handily.

no one bothered to ask what it was for…just the teachers and the Children. Afterward, they said the teachers got a 4 percent raise and an extra one percent of their salaries would go to the pensions so that the poor dears didn’t have to pay for their pensions

it is really remarkable how far left even the tiny throw away papers that wind up on your lawn are. i assume that most of the editors have spouses, children, family members as Teachers…

r keller on November 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM

My school district is very small. A graduating class is not more than 500 students a year. Four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. They had a ballot request for $36 million dollars for improvements. I voted no. Make do with what you have for a few more years. The teachers are lucky to have steady jobs. No sympathy from me.

Night Owl on November 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I used to live in one of those places (three elementary schools but otherwise the same). Probably the best school system in West Michigan. But I always felt sorry for those children who moved into the district. It was very self-contained. I always voted no on the tax measures but, in truth, that was probably wrong. Because of the schools, my house was easily worth $40K more than the same home a few blocks over in a more urban school district with deplorable schools.

I guess my advice is this. The reputation of the school district drives property values.

Happy Nomad on November 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

No union teacher left behind.

racquetballer on November 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM

SWalker on November 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Shoulda waxed ‘er up a bit n pulled the chipmunks out of the tailpipe :)

Mimzey on November 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

SWalker on November 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Shoulda waxed ‘er up a bit n pulled the chipmunks out of the tailpipe :)

Mimzey on November 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Yea, probably should have, but it’s not at my house, it’s over at my brothers place and I don’t get over there often enough these days.

SWalker on November 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM

btw, this racket is just starting to go into high gear. evidently there are now computer requirments…lot of them, for schools. So they’ll have to get more taxes to pay for that.

r keller on November 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM

The interesting thing about so called teachers is that they didn’t or don’t realize that one of the main reasons their retirement money is in the crapper is that most of those retirement funds were invested as bond holders in GM. The same bond holders that Obama said, “Screw you” to. Isn’t Karma fun? Not if you are a taxpayer!

Hobbes on November 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I guess my advice is this. The reputation of the school district drives property values.

Happy Nomad on November 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

It may very well have won without my vote, but you are right about the school district. From the beginning, I have been happy about the way they handle things. My daughter’s second grade teacher had a cooking day for Thanksgiving and she led a prayer before allowing the kids to eat. She said until they come in and drag her out she is going to keep on doing what she’s been doing the past 25 years. They have Christmas parties and the Christmas concert is actual Christmas hymns, along with the kiddie stuff. They quit broadcasting the “President’s Speech” at the beginning of each year after the first one.

As far as values, I’m being taxed based on what I paid for my house, plus appreciation, despite the bank saying it is worth $50,000 less than I paid for it. That’s my project for the next month, to get my taxes reduced to match the value, so an increase in school taxes may not even matter.

Night Owl on November 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I know where $6 BILLION in new taxes is going in Kalifornia, and is isn’t “for the children”.

Going to be interesting over the next couple of years, the response school districts get when they ask for “more money”.

GarandFan on November 12, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Not one word is mentioned about the bloated salaries of the Union Presidents. Fair to say some cost cutting there could go a long way.

How much of all the money spent on education actually reaches the classrooms ?

BillyPenn on November 12, 2012 at 8:35 PM

The problem is the system the state of New York established is so ridiculous and defeats the purpose of its original intent.

rob verdi on November 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Well NY schools have always prided themselves on being superior to the other states.

Bottom line, for me, is that the school systems need to be held accountable. Too many urban school systems don’t even have a 50% graduation rate. Twenty-five percent of those graduating from public school and going to college need remedial courses to teach them the stuff they should have learned before graduating high school. This is unacceptable and the teacher unions are a big part of the problem. Short of a teacher having sex with a student in public, the unions will claim there is no such thing as a bad teacher and that simply isn’t true.

Happy Nomad on November 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

listens2glenn on November 12, 2012 at 8:12 PM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

They need money, left them raise their members’ dues.

Or co-pays.

profitsbeard on November 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Will Election Investment Help Teachers Unions Out of Their Financial Hole?

Sure, and doubling down on the same inconsequential BS that we have been fixating upon for the last four years in the Conservative blogosphere will certainly bear much fruit over the next four years.

Hey, why don’t we get some good threads complaining about the Libtard media and their obvious bias-that will surely wake up the base and get folks motivated.

Two thousand friggin sixteen, here we come! Look out, ‘tards!

/s

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 12, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Privatize the public schools.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on November 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Privatize the public schools.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on November 12, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Yeah, the way we’ve privatized mental hospitals and health systems?

Worked really well for us apparently.

Funny that people have no problems dumping millions upon millions of taxpayer’s money into new sports stadiums and public golf courses that benefit hardly anyone, but stuff like education and mail is a waste of time.

I’m guessing we’ll never win another national election again.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

We have states, counties, cities and school districts that have made unsustainable spending commitments. Instead of making these spend-thrifts cut spending, the libtards think it is a good idea to toss them Federal a bunch of tax dollars. Tax Dollars that the Feds have taken from citizens of states, counties, cities and school districts that have balanced their budgets and lived within their means.

Using the same logic, the libtards would think that unloading your monster Super-Soaker on a drowning puppy is fun thing to do.

WestTexasBirdDog on November 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

We have states, counties, cities and school districts that have made unsustainable spending commitments. Instead of making these spend-thrifts cut spending, the libtards think it is a good idea to toss them Federal a bunch of tax dollars. Tax Dollars that the Feds have taken from citizens of states, counties, cities and school districts that have balanced their budgets and lived within their means.

Using the same logic, the libtards would think that unloading your monster Super-Soaker on a drowning puppy is fun thing to do.

WestTexasBirdDog on November 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I don’t get why the hell the federal government is involved in the first place, or the state capitols for that matter. Education is a local issue and should be tailored to benefit the families of the individual community.

Oddly enough, I’ve seen polls where most Americans think that education everywhere else in the country sucks, but is just fine in their community.

We’re being fed nonsense from both parties, the media and certainly politicians who benefit from this hot button issue.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 12, 2012 at 9:44 PM

They need money, left them raise their members’ dues.

Or co-pays.

profitsbeard on November 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Yep, no-brainer there.

slickwillie2001 on November 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Lets see here Barky flushed the gays and the palestinians. Hmmm I wonder who’s next?
Don’t you get it dumbazzes, you’re expendable now, you voted him in and he isn’t going to do squat for you. Anybody else for seconds on the ice cold Schadenfreude? I hear it’s especially sweet at this time.

stormridercx4 on November 13, 2012 at 3:25 AM

So irresponsible people support other irresponsible people?

We just need more unions…cause these money disparities are someone else’s fault…so yeah…more please

John Kettlewell on November 13, 2012 at 4:54 AM

Let’s face it, education is still in the 19th century. They still close down schools for the entire summer so kids can help with planting the family farm while at the same time, paying teachers a full years wages. Public schools have become daycare warehouses and baby sitting centers. The truth is, we now have Internet schools, libraries, on the job training, internships, trade schools, book stores, and a million different ways to learn new things and find things out. The truth is, if you can’t educate yourself in America, you simply don’t want to be educated. I think we need to make high school optional instead of mandatory. We need to reform child labor laws to open up new learning opportunities to students, many of whom know what they are interested in learning about and what fields of work they want to pursue already. Provide insentives to private companies to create new worker programs to educate students to do the jobs they need. Reducing the number of students who feel stuck in public schools will actually help the ones who want to be there, reducing class size, and taking some of the stress off of public education in general while opening up other forms of education available in the 21st century to all the rest. I know a guy who passed the bar exam without ever setting foot inside a classroom. It can be done, anyone and I mean anyone can get an education in America, all that is required is that they must want one. One size doesn’t fit all.

But who is standing in the way of real reform? The answer to this question is: Public Teacher’s Unions, who are paid to maintain the status-quo of a 19th century view of education, who stuff as many students into classrooms as possible regardless of who they are or what their strengths are for a one size fits all education for the sole purpose to increase teacher pay and cost to taxpayers. We know they get paid based on the number of students that actually show up. It is long past time to change education.

Dollayo on November 13, 2012 at 5:10 AM

Teachers start at 40K here in my school district and a school year is 38 weeks so when you do the math they are starting at a grand a week. Not bad, not bad. Many are making close to 2 grand a week.

mixplix on November 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM