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.