Some education on Education Minnesota

One of the most powerful political organizations in Minnesota is not a political party or branch of the government but the state teachers’ union, Education Minnesota.

The state teachers’ union claims that their membership is holding steady at 89,000, even as the state’s public schools continue to lose parents and students to private schools and homeschooling.

The union itself consists of several corporate entities, each of which serves a different purpose in the network.

The main nonprofit is organized as a 501c5 labor union. The entity also has a foundation organized as a 501c3 that can accept tax-deductible contributions. There is also a 501c2 unit that holds title to the union’s real estate. A for-profit subsidiary provides services to the nonprofit entities.

With annual revenue around $40 million per year, the union is not just well-funded, but also remunerative. Its most recent tax return lists 14 staffers each making over $105,000 per year. The organization directly employs 228 people.

In addition to the nonprofits, Education Minnesota operates a political action committee. Money dedicated and spent on the 527 political action committee totals about $5 million for each two-year election cycle—

The efforts to elect more Democrats to office have been extraordinarily successful. Primary and secondary education represents the largest single area of the state budget.

Source: Minnesota Management and Budget

The above figures represent spending from the state’s “general fund.” Transportation is funded by dedicated taxes.

Adding to the amount spent on education, the Legislature and the Governor just agreed to spend an additional $1 billion in the area in the next three years.

Given their success at the capitol, you will not be surprised to learn that Education Minnesota spent the most of any organization in 2020 (most recent data available) lobbying the legislature—

Source: Campaign Finance Board, Annual Lobbying Report, P. 22.

Education Minnesota has led this spending category three of the past four years.

To recap: member dues –> campaign donations and lobbying –> higher spending on education –> more member dues. All the while test scores are plummeting.