NEA Convention 2014: Membership Declines for Fifth Straight Year

posted at 9:21 am on July 3, 2014 by Mike Antonucci

Greetings from Denver, where the National Education Association will open its annual Representative Assembly tomorrow morning. Today the delegates attended some preliminary hearings.

I have covered the open hearing on NEA’s strategic plan and budget for 16 consecutive years. Fifteen minutes before the start of this year’s presentation, I learned that “open” had been redefined to “open to NEA members only.” Or, in layman’s terms, “closed.”

This was a troublesome obstacle, but not an insurmountable one. I can still report that in 2013-14 NEA lost members for the fifth consecutive year, and expects to continue to lose members for the next two years at least.

Here is the breakdown in full-time equivalents (FTEs) for both active professionals and education support employees since 2010-11 and extending to 2015-16. The use of FTEs corrects for members who pay less than full dues, and members belonging to merged affiliates, who split their dues between NEA and AFT. “Active” members are those currently working in the public schools.

2010-11 actual : 2,239,000

2011-12 actual: 2,153,000

2012-13 actual: 2,106,000

2013-14 projected*: 2,045,000

2014-15 projected: 2,015,000

2015-16 projected: 1,990,000

*NEA’s fiscal year ends August 31, so this projection should be very accurate.

When I am able I will report on the number of warm bodies who are NEA members, and break down those numbers by state, but they are not as easy to obtain as they were when membership was growing.

The national union will present a 2014-15 budget of $354.9 million to the delegates for approval, and a 2015-16 budget of $354.2 million. It includes a 3 percent raise for the executive officers, in line with what NEA reports as being granted to its national staff.


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Good. Now if it was any kind of indication that the quality of teachers was improving.

Cindy Munford on July 3, 2014 at 9:26 AM

$350M budget for 2M teachers. That’s only $175 per year in dues.

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

I can still report that in 2013-14 NEA lost members for the fifth consecutive year, and expects to continue to lose members for the next two years at least.

Just think of how steep the decline if government stopped acting as the toll collecter for the unions.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Still 2 million strong…and that is a lot of money for the dems.

right2bright on July 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Nothing is right when it comes to teachers’ unions. As a labor union, I have no problems with their activities other than my belief that public sector unions should be illegal.

But the NEA/AFT go further and demand that they dictate education policy. They have imposed a radical left-wing agenda on innocent children. They have thwarted any and all attempts at holding teachers accountable for performance. And, of course, they are constantly equating increased spending with educational excellence when the bulk of that spending goes to salaries instead of increasing opportunity for students.

Happy Nomad on July 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

FYI to the site managers – something is messed up in the web coding somewhere. Currently Google Chrome Browser is refusing to recognize the existence of the “Hot Air” site, but good old IE Explorer (which I almost never use anymore) can find it just fine.

Or maybe Google has just decided to block “Hot Air” as undesirable, or something. because racism. or war on women. or 1%. or something.

Tom Servo on July 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM

God bless you Mike for doing this

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

that’s what they show, the other $200/year goes directly to dems

DanMan on July 3, 2014 at 9:46 AM

I’m glad to have no children.

Tard on July 3, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Hey, Mike – the – new – guy… we like pics, especially snark-filled, on the main threads.

LtGenRob on July 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

The $175 per member would reflect the portion of each teacher’s dues going to the national organization. Teachers would also be paying dues to the state organization and to their local. The total amount varies a lot.

elliesmom on July 3, 2014 at 9:57 AM

We home schooled, our philosophy being that if when they were eighteen they couldn’t read, write, add, subtract etc at least we kept them away from NEA members.

Akzed on July 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

that’s what they show, the other $200/year goes directly to dems

DanMan on July 3, 2014 at 9:46 AM

You got that right Dan

Lord Whorfin on July 3, 2014 at 10:02 AM

…I have covered the open hearing on NEA’s strategic plan and budget for 16 consecutive years. Fifteen minutes before the start of this year’s presentation, I learned that “open” had been redefined to “open to NEA members only.” Or, in layman’s terms, “closed.”

Mike Antonucci on July 3, 2014 at 9:21 am

.
Those last-second redefinitions will getcha every time.

listens2glenn on July 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

$350M budget for 2M teachers. That’s only $175 per year in dues.

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

That’s just the national organization. They still have local dues as well, I believe.

It includes a 3 percent raise for the executive officers, in line with what NEA reports as being granted to its national staff.

A 3% raise in exchange for a 3% decline in membership. A microcosm of unionism.

blammm on July 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

$350M budget for 2M teachers. That’s only $175 per year in dues.

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

That doesn’t count the larger amount laundered to Democrats.

ConstantineXI on July 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

NEA’s membership levels have fallen to their 2005 levels. As the author pointed out, they were proud to brag up their numbers when they were expanding annually.

I found this page at the Washington (state) Educational Association and it provides a breakdown of state and national dues for their members.

$429 for WEA and $182 for NEA. Over $600 p/year combined for full-time teachers in Washington state.

Toocon on July 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

NEA dues for 2013-14 are $179. State and local dues vary from about $300 to $700.

Mike Antonucci on July 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Why are teachers unionized? Why is any public employee unionized? It defies even the most naive logic. I’d like to see Rick Perry elected President just to see him shutter the Department of Education.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Disregard previous. $182 national dues. Forgot the $3 special assessment.

Mike Antonucci on July 3, 2014 at 10:19 AM

They really should change their name, since the organization has absolutely nothing to do with education. Maybe the “National Incompetent-Teacher’s Association” would be better.

RoadRunner on July 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Disregard previous. $182 national dues. Forgot the $3 special assessment. – Mike Antonucci at 10:19 AM

Aha!     : )

Toocon on July 3, 2014 at 10:25 AM

We need Right-to-Work on a national level.

sentinelrules on July 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Yeah, those stupid teachers! Who needs ‘em. Throw them all out amirite guys?!?

beverlyfreaks on July 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Yeah, those stupid teachers! Who needs ‘em. Throw them all out amirite guys?!?

beverlyfreaks on July 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Just the teacher unions.

sentinelrules on July 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Some towns won’t have union teachers.

Maybe that’s part of it.

formwiz on July 3, 2014 at 10:27 AM

So, the feel good story of the day.

Ward Cleaver on July 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

FDR said the concept of public sector unions was ridiculous.

Akzed on July 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Back when Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was a teacher, students learned more, retained more, and in a much shorter school year than they do today. Perhaps the solution is the pay. Perhaps we should pay teachers today what we paid them then, adjusting for inflation. That should fix it up just fine.

John Hitchcock on July 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

$350M budget for 2M teachers. That’s only $175 per year in dues.

Does that sound correct?

faraway on July 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

It’s new math.

Now shut up and go study your common core, while the grown-ups in the room decide how to extort more money from the taxpayers.

captnjoe on July 3, 2014 at 11:06 AM

God bless you Mike for doing this

cmsinaz on July 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I was thinking you really have to be dedicated to reporting. I could never do it. Aside from the fact I can’t write, I could never sit through dull meetings and pay attention.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Back when Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was a teacher, students learned more, retained more, and in a much shorter school year than they do today. Perhaps the solution is the pay. Perhaps we should pay teachers today what we paid them then, adjusting for inflation. That should fix it up just fine.

John Hitchcock on July 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Oh, your thinking of PRIVATE schooling, where the teacher is directly answerable to the parents for the quality of education. That was the good old days, when it was not illegal for a few parents to band together, build a small school house, and hired their own teacher.

We are too dumb as a society now for that kind of thing to be tolerated. We need the unions/feds to tell us what to do. Look at the great results./

captnjoe on July 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Feel good story of the day

neyney on July 3, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Back when Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was a teacher, students learned more, retained more, and in a much shorter school year than they do today. Perhaps the solution is the pay. Perhaps we should pay teachers today what we paid them then, adjusting for inflation. That should fix it up just fine.

John Hitchcock on July 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

In the old days of the one-room school the teacher recognized students that had something and encouraged them. The older kids helped with the younger ones. They were encouraged to go to high school. You had to prove you had a brain to get into high school and then you had to prove you had a brain to get into college.

When I went to college any mill worker’s daughter could go to college.I have nothing against mill workers’ daughters if they have brains. Too many of them didn’t.

And the teachers back then were expected to teach the kids certain things. The school boards were results oriented.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

According to my pay stub $74.60/month is national union dues an additional $10/month is local. That’s $895.20 per year the NEA while the local gets $120.

If that uh er, contribution rate holds for the 1,990,000 FTE’s we have a grand total of $1,781,448,000/year to the national NEA.

Somethings smells funny here…

old school on July 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

In a sort of related story: In February of 1923 there was a story in the local paper that said groups affiliated with the KKK were planning to put a bill through the legislature requiring all children between 6 and 16 to attend public schools. The measure would have effectively abolished private schools. Similar laws had been tried in Michigan where it was turned down and Oregon where preliminary results had been encouraging. They didn’t think it would get anywhere in Ohio because the Catholic schools took a big burden off the public schools.

crankyoldlady on July 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

2010-11 actual : 2,239,000

2011-12 actual: 2,153,000

2012-13 actual: 2,106,000

2013-14 projected*: 2,045,000

2014-15 projected: 2,015,000

2015-16 projected: 1,990,000

…too bad their membership rolls don’t plummet as rapidly as the population did…in the City of Detroit

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

The big SC case this week was the anti-union one…but “war on womens”, fools.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Membership is declining way tooooooo slowly. Much faster, please. THEN, MAYBE we can start teaching kids content again (not Common Core)

MN J on July 3, 2014 at 11:29 PM