NEA Has Lots of Member Money to Spend on Colorado Political Issues

Colorado education professionals, this may be your hard-earned dues dollars at work – if you belong to the Colorado Education Association that is.

According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the National Education Association has a ton of money to spend on state political issues during this election. In the past year, among other things, the NEA has spent money to launch a constitutional convention in Hawaii, and to oppose proposed tax cuts in Florida and Massachusetts. But the Journal also notes:

Expect more of the same going forward in a state near you. “Unlike most previous years,” writes [Mike] Antonucci, “NEA finished 2007-08 with a surplus of nearly $5.9 million, which means the union will enter the 2008-09 school year with almost $20 million available to spend.” It’s a shame the NEA doesn’t spend as much money and effort trying to improve lousy schools as it does trying to keep taxes high.

Mike Antonucci reports that NEA has already granted $89,500 to the Colorado Education Association. It isn’t clear whether those funds are included in the $177,000 NEA has contributed to the issue committee Protect Colorado’s Future – which opposes a Right-to-Work ballot proposal, and supports several initiatives deemed unfriendly to business.

Learn more about how other CEA member money is spent on politics, how a refund can be requested, and what membership options teachers and other education professionals in Colorado have.

Hat Tip to Labor Pains blog

Introducing Independent Teachers

The one-stop informational home for Colorado educators who want to know their options is back in business. Here’s a quick tour of what the site has to offer, with more updates and improvements slated to come:

  • About This Site introduces readers to why Independent Teachers was created, and some responses from teachers who appreciate the unique informational service
  • Membership Options gives Colorado teachers a thorough listing of the different unions, professional organizations, and other insurance options available – encouraging teachers to make the most informed choice they can
  • Revoking Membership provides details on when and how teachers can opt out of organizations to which they no longer wish to belong – in some cases, they have only two weeks out of the year to make this decision
  • Political Contributions breaks down which organizations give member money to political campaigns and how much
  • Political Refunds tells teachers who belong to the organizations that give their money to political campaigns how they can get it back, including the different Every Member Option refunds and their deadlines

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