Tax-dollar dependent NEA lobbying Senate for edujobs 

It is doubtful whether the National Education Association could survive in anything remotely like its present politically powerful incarnation if all public schools teachers were effectively guaranteed the right not to join the union.

As it is, the NEA is among the most influential unions in the nation’s capital, in great part due to the nearly $31 million it has contributed to congressional incumbents and challengers since 1990, with 93 percent of the total going to Democrats, plus its ability to bring lobbying pressure to bear on Congress.

The teachers union is flexing its lobbying muscle today in the Senate which is considering whether to throw another $10 billion at the public schools “jobs saved” category of economic stimulus. Check out the following alert issued earlier today by the NEA’s deputy executive director, and note the clear coordination with  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

“Subject: URGENT REQUEST FOR MEMBER MOBILIZATION TODAY

“Message from John Stocks

“Deputy Executive Director

National Education Association

“Senator Harry Reid has filed for a cloture vote on the Reid / Murray amendment to H.R. 1586 scheduled for today @ 5:30pm. This amendment contains the Ed Jobs and Federal Medical Assistance (FMAP) appropriations we have been fighting for all year. Senator Reid is determined to get an up or down vote on these issues before they recess.

“Senator Reid has asked us to mobilize as much support as possible in support of his effort to pass FMAP and Ed Jobs today.

“President Van Roekel, John Wilson, Kim Anderson and the whole NEA ESEA/Jobs Campaign Team are asking for your help to win this critical vote.

“We are asking you to do the following:

“NEA Staff

“We are asking you to please go online to the NEA Legislative Action Center at http://www.nea.org/home/LegislativeActionCenter.html and click on the “Urge your Senator” link. You will be asked to enter your zip code to get a list of your senators. You can type a message to your senators right from the Action center. PLEASE URGE THEM TO VOTE YES FOR CLOTURE AND TO SUPPORT THE REID/MURRAY AMENDMENT FOR EDUCATION JOBS AND FMAP. You may also call your senator’s office and URGE THEM TO VOTE YES FOR CLOTURE AND TO SUPPORT THE REID/MURRAY AMENDMENT FOR EDUCATION JOBS AND FMAP.

“Grasstops Calls To Senators

“We are asking you to ask your state affiliate leaders, staff, family and friends who have influence over each Senator to place a call to them or their Chief of Staff…”

The memo goes on and on with a lengthy list of action requests to its thousands of politically active members across the country.

To read the complete memo, go here to the Education Intelligence Agency’s Intercepts blog.

Stocks’s total compensation was listed on NEA’s most recently available IRS-Form 990 (for tax year 2007) as $371,323, plus expenses of $8,279.

The average public school teacher’s salary in America is approximately $53,000.

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Mark Tapscott

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