Green Room

NEA Membership Declines in All Categories

posted at 5:10 pm on November 5, 2012 by

The National Education Association will spend the next 24 hours deeply immersed in the Presidential campaign, as well as hundreds of Congressional, statehouse and ballot initiative races across the country. But no one is predicting a wholesale change in the political balance of power, which is what it will take for the union to reverse the largest and most precipitous membership losses in its history.

I have reported NEA membership numbers many times over the past 15 years, but this is the first time to my knowledge that the union has experienced losses in all categories: active professional, education support, higher education, students and retirees. Here’s a reminder of how NEA has fared during the Obama years:

2008-09 = 2,905,741 active members (3,234,639 total members)

2009-10 = 2,866,063 active (3,204,185 total)

2010-11 = 2,807,332 active (3,166,761 total)

2011-12 = 2,726,045 active (3,085,999 total)

The latest figures show active members (meaning members currently working in the public school system) at about 2,711,000. Total membership, which includes students and retirees, comes in at around 3,067,000. If current trends continue, NEA will fall below 3 million members in less than a year.

NEA has already budgeted for a loss of more than 140,000 members this year. Nevertheless, the union is warning its activists that additional cuts may become necessary.

The union is making plans to address its recruiting problems, but which ones will be implemented and how will depend a great deal on tomorrow’s election results. The big campaign issue in education isn’t Race to the Top or Common Core. Just as with the broader economy, it’s jobs. NEA needs those members back. It’s looking to raise revenues, and for politicians committed to using those revenues to hire education employees. All other issues are secondary.

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Charter and Home Schooling. Problem solved.

Mr. Arrogant on November 5, 2012 at 5:39 PM


Jaibones on November 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Good. The sooner that all public-sector unions are eliminated and prohibited, the sooner our nation can begin to rebuild it’s education system.

Unions have destroyed our nation’s public school systems and turned them into leftist indoctrination mills.

TKindred on November 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I’m a teacher in Virginia, where NEA is only a voluntary professional group. Even though they do speak to issues of teachers, Public Unions are illegal in our state. I always joined, just because I thought it was fair since they advocate on our behalf that I join. (I knew they were liberal, but I was assured my dues would not go to partisan political activity.) When Obama Care came out they constantly sent me e-mails, that would “break through the partisan noise and give you the truth.” These were the same Pelosi talking points I read about here on Hot Air. They also ran ads supporting Obabmacare, claiming they weren’t partisan, but addressed an issued related to teaching. That was the final straw for me. So Obama caused my dropping out of the NEA for sure.

ThorFather on November 5, 2012 at 6:38 PM

NEA Membership Declines in All Categories

Including the “Excellent Teachers” category?! I don’t believe it!


Glenn Jericho on November 5, 2012 at 10:37 PM