Latest Posts





MN Teachers’ Union Calls Attention to Center’s Employee Freedom Project and Billboards

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht uses her column in the union’s publication Minnesota Educator to smear organizations in favor of employee freedom.

In her piece titled, “Educators are too smart to let dark money snuff out our union,” Specht calls out the Center’s EducatedTeachersMN project and its electronic billboards that welcomed union officials and delegates to the National Education Association’s annual convention held in Minneapolis June 30-July 5.

The billboards celebrated teachers’ independence from forced union fees thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Janus v. AFSCME.

Specht’s criticism of the signage? The blackboard background.

Educators who attended the NEA’s national convention in Minneapolis this summer may have seen that group’s billboards. They feature an image of chalk letters on a blackboard, telling teachers drop their union [inaccurate, the billboard text was not a call to action]. Never mind that schools haven’t used blackboards in 20 years or what educators wrote on them was directed at students. The billboards show this group is clueless and their leaders think we’re children.

Specht uses the rest of her piece as a diatribe against “billionaires” and their “dark money,” but is silent on labor unions’ own history of political spending and nondisclosure.

Education Minnesota’s PAC took in nearly $1.8 million in 2016 and $1.4 million in 2017, primarily supporting Democratic candidates and liberal organizations. The union charges teachers $25 for its PAC and requires teachers to request a refund of this money—which is not an easy process—if they do not want to fund the PAC’s political activity.

But outside the reimbursable PAC contribution, additional dues money is spent to fuel Education Minnesota’s political agenda—and union members have no say on how their money is spent and often remain in the dark on what their money supports.

Education Minnesota’s “Political Activities and Lobbying” expenditures (as defined by Education Minnesota) increased just over $1.3 million between its 2015-2016 report and its 2016-2017 report. Spending on “Representational Activities” increased roughly $193,000.

According to the union’s 2016-2017 LM-2 report, Education Minnesota spent $2,663,526 on “Political Activities and Lobbying.” The PAC received $725,570; a communications firm received $924,447 for “media advertising;” Women Winning (a women’s advocacy organization focused on electing pro-choice women to public office in Minnesota) received a $5,000 annual event sponsorship. What was the other $1 million spent on? Unknown.

Let he who is without sin…




Upcoming Events

  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Candace Owens

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    From Brexit to Blexit… Britain’s exit from the European Union has not been smooth sailing. Since the leave date has been pushed back to October, Nigel Farage is now running for a seat in the European Parliament. That election date is May 23 which has forced him to cancel all American speaking engagements, including our Annual Dinner. Center of the American Experiment is pleased to announce that Candace Owens, the founder of the Blexit movement and host of The Candace Owens Show, will now be presenting the keynote address at our 2019 Annual Dinner on May 18. We are excited…

    Register Now
  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now