Sand: Teacher Union Pinocchios

A new poll shows that teachers are politically divided, but union political spending is anything but.

The results of a poll released last week by the Education Week Research Center reveal that teachers are evenly distributed across the political map. 29 percent said they are liberal, 27 percent conservative and the remainder describe themselves as moderate.

The results are not really surprising, as an internal National Education Association poll dating back to 2005 shows pretty much the same thing. In fact, the 2005 NEA survey, consistent with previous results, found that members “are slightly more conservative (50%) than liberal (43%) in political philosophy.”

A second Education Week poll question asks teachers if they think they are represented by their union’s political spending. 28 percent say that the union represents their political views, while the remaining 72 percent respond “some, a little or not at all.”

So in political spending, the National Education Association, the biggest union in the country, doesn’t come close to representing the majority of its members. According to Open Secrets, NEA spent 99 percent of its political bucks on Democrats/liberals in 2016, while the American Federation of Teachers spent 100 percent on leftist candidates and causes. And we are talking very big money.

Released last month, the NEA 2016-2017 U.S. Department of Labor disclosure shows that the union spent $151 million on politics. The AFT report, which came out in October, reveals that the union spent 44 million during the same time period. (H/T RiShawn Biddle.)

When one learns that the teachers unions donate liberally (pun intended) to outfits like the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, it’s easy to understand how almost three-quarters of all teachers are not in sync with their union’s spending. And the official union talking points on this subject are evasive or outright lies.

To continue reading, go to California Policy Center.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

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