Thanks to Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal, who noted in the Political Diary last Friday the NEA’s Legislative Program for the next (110th) Congress. As we noted a few days ago, according to its website, the NEA exists, to “advanc[e] the cause of public education.”
Good thing it’s on the website, ’cause it’s not entirely clear from the elements included in their legislative platform. While you’ll see the garden variety stuff on education — presumably their bread and butter, it also wanders into territory seemingly far from their mission, including:
* A nuclear freeze;
* The development of a national energy policy that stresses conservation and “reduces dependence on foreign sources of energy”;
* The establishment and maintenance of federal wilderness areas;
* Stronger federal action in solving the problem of toxic waste dumping;
* A tax-supported, single-payer (i.e., Canadian-style) health care plan for all residents of the United States, its territories and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
* A moratorium on capital punishment at the state and federal levels;
* U.S. participation in and equitable financing of the United Nations and related bodies;
* A progressive tax system and restoring the estate tax.
Riley notes that last year, the NEA spent $25 million on “political activities and lobbying,” and another $65.5 million on “contributions, gifts and grants” to other left-leaning groups. We earlier noted the $8 million they spent to beat the No Child Left Behind Act.
Why do we care? Because we are the biggest end-users of the product of our Nation’s schools. The NEA has long stood in the way of the real reforms needed to make sure our schools crank out kids who are prepared for the work world of today. They’ve been so busy coddling up to lefty causes out of synch with their membership that they’ve lost their way in terms of their stated goal. Along the way, we all lose.
Might be time for some hard-working teachers to ask where their money is going.
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