- Post 05 July 2012
- By Copy Editor
(USA Today) -- The USA's largest teachers union is losing members and revenue, potentially threatening its political clout.
The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 100,000 members since 2010. By 2014, union projections show, it could lose a cumulative total of about 308,000 full-time teachers and other workers, a 16% drop from 2010. Lost dues will shrink NEA's budget an estimated $65 million, or 18%.
NEA calls the membership losses "unprecedented" and predicts they may be a sign of things to come. "Things will never go back to the way they were," reads its 2012-14 strategic plan, citing changing teacher demographics, attempts by some states to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights and an "explosion" in online learning that could sideline flesh-and-blood teachers.
"We may be a little smaller, but we won't be weaker — we'll be stronger," NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said. He said teachers "have been energized" by lawmakers' bids in some states to make it harder to join a public-sector union. ...