Here’s what the national teachers’ union will push for under Biden
The National Education Association (NEA) has released its 54-page “Policy Playbook“—a list of policies at the federal level the teachers’ union wants the Biden administration to prioritize.
The report’s introduction begins by claiming NEA has more than 3 million members, but according to its most recently available federal filing (which is self-reported) the teachers’ union has under 3 million members, at 2,975,933. The introduction also states that 1 in 100 Americans is an NEA member, but according to union expert Mike Antonucci, about 1 in 111 Americans is an NEA member.
In conjunction with the Policy Playbook, the NEA released a statement that included the country “need[ing] an unadulterated national repudiation of white supremacist culture” and the expectation that the Biden administration will make sure “no haven exists for hate crimes, white supremacy, and anti-immigrant policies.”
Minnesota educators who are members of Education Minnesota pay the NEA $251.16 a year in dues, according to Education Minnesota’s membership form. Below are some of the NEA’s recommendations that span 27 policy areas. You can read all of the union’s proposals here.
- Suspend federal testing requirements until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
- Oppose all charter school expansion that undermines traditional public schools. [Charter schools serve many families of color and low-income families.]
- Bar federal funding to charter schools, charter school authorizers, and charter school management companies not authorized or operated by local school districts.
- Oppose charter schools that operate entirely online.
- Make community college free and eliminate costs for the first four years at all public higher education institutions, including minority-serving institutions.
- Cancel the student loan debts of experienced educators.
- Reach an agreement with Congress on at least $175 billion in additional federal emergency aid to stabilize public education funding.
- Quadruple the federal investment in Title I.
- Implement a nationwide mask mandate and condition COVID-19 relief funding on implementation of effective mitigation strategies.
- Add additional judgeships to the federal district and circuit courts.
- Add associate justice seats to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- [Basically, pack the federal courts.]
- Oppose the enactment of any new voucher program, including education savings accounts and tuition tax credit “schemes,” or the expansion of existing programs. [These programs serve many families of color and low-income families.]
- Repeal the expansion of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code that permits the use of distributions from education savings plans for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses.
- Discontinue funding of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act. [This is a D.C. scholarship program for low-income families.]
- Train educators in restorative justice practices.
- Spur investment in programs that assist schools in eliminating or reducing the role of school resource officers (SROs).
- Strengthen the estate tax for the purpose of funding public education.
- Oppose “arbitrary maximum limits on any state or local government’s ability to spend or tax.”
- Limit the influence of corporations and wealthy special interests [wait, like you, NEA?] in campaigns.
- Condition federal education funding on state and local laws or policies permitting collective bargaining.