The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor organization for educators in the United States. Members include public school teachers, support staff, college faculty and university employees, and retired educators. It also includes college students studying to become teachers. As a union, it represents a wide variety of interests, from working parents to retired educators to those who are currently in education. Whether you want to become a teacher or just want to know more about how education affects children, the NEA is an important organization that you should be familiar with.
In 1991, the NEA’s charter was amended to allow it to consider decency in deciding grants. The new charter does not automatically forbid indecent material, and NEA could still fund a controversial art exhibition if artistic merit and relevance outweighed indecency. The original charter was much less lenient, and there was a risk of abuse, but the new charter addresses these concerns.
The bylaws of the National Education Association set the ground rules for the organization’s governance. These documents define the structure of the organization and its primary legislative body. Both the constitution and bylaws define who gets what, and how it works. The NEA’s representative assembly, comprised of more than nine thousand members, sets policy and makes decisions on behalf of the entire association. Regardless of whether a particular policy is good for a particular association or not, its members are the best judges.
NEA’s research department
The research department of the National Education Association is responsible for studying a variety of educational topics. They produce reports that rank state school statistics and rank teachers’ attitudes toward those topics. A recent study, the Status of the American Public School Teacher, focuses on attitudes toward teachers. This research department’s efforts are essential to the NEA’s mission. They use research to help their affiliates make more informed decisions. They also conduct research to better understand the needs of teachers.
NEA’s opposition to charter schools
At a recent convention, the National Education Association announced its position on charter schools. The NEA’s policy statement on charter schools was crafted in response to educator concerns about the rapid growth of the industry. As charter schools have grown in popularity in recent years, their expansion has increased, resulting in reckless disregard for transparency and accountability. But while some charter schools are meeting these standards, the NEA has set clear boundaries between those schools and those that are not.
NEA’s activities at the state level
While NEA’s activities at the national level are centered on education policy, they also span the globe. In California, for example, the state affiliate of the NEA sabotage ballot initiatives and harass signature gatherers, claiming they were bogus. The California Teachers Association sabotaged petitions by adding false names and threatening to expose the signature gatherers. The NEA’s national headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., but the NEA has affiliate members in over 14,000 communities around the nation. The NEA is the largest labor union in the United States and has an annual budget of more than $300 million.