The NEA's Grab-Bag Of Issues
January 5, 1999
The National Education Association -- the largest of the nation's teachers unions -- has a long history of backing left-wing issues which have nothing to do with the well-being of its members, observers point out. Moreover, many of its stands run contrary to the political views of many of its members. The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that some 40 percent of the NEA's 2.3 million members are at odds with the organization's agenda.
Here is a brief profile of its interests:
- It wants the U.S. to nationalize health care, start a nuclear freeze, adopt national energy policies and pass more gun-control laws.
- At its 1998 convention, the NEA passed resolutions denouncing school vouchers and opposing home schooling -- and it has taken stands against testing of teachers.
- It believes environmental education should encourage "protection of the Earth's finite resources" and raise awareness of overpopulation, "global warming, ozone depletion and acid precipitation."
- It claims that all people have a right to housing and health insurance at taxpayers' expense, and would use money saved from any reductions in the defense budget for "alternative civilian uses, including education" -- rather than for tax cuts.
During the 1996 elections, 99 percent of its political action committee donations went to Democratic candidates. The second largest teachers union, the 900,000-member American Federation of Teachers, made similar lop-sided contributions to Democrats.
Analysts at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution report that if the NEA's agenda were fully implemented, the cost to American taxpayers would be $700 billion a year.
Source: Michael Chapman, "The NEA's Political Lesson Plan," Investor's Business Daily, January 5, 1999.
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