National Education Association

Report Details

What is the National Education Association?

The National Education Association is a powerful teachers’ union with a web of influence that extends from school districts to the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Education Association describes itself as “the nation’s largest professional organization, representing more than three million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.”

In 2021, the National Education Association said it would spend money on fighting advocates against critical race theory in schools, including funneling:

  • $5.8 million to “increase member capacity as leaders and activists, which includes recruiting and training educators to run for local office and school boards.”
  • $7.5 million to “create and provide training, resources, and programming for members on racial and social justice and how to implement those practices in the classroom.”
  • $36.2 million to “protect and defend” against legal attacks directed at the union and to support the nomination of pro-labor judges;
  • $6.9 million to “recruit more new and early-career teachers to join the union.”
  • $32.9 million to elect union-friendly candidates, engage members ahead of the 2022 midterms, and “develop and utilize strategic research to shape debate in states about education funding, taxes, and revenue.”

What services does the National Education Association provide?

On the web, the NEA promotes an operation called NEA EdJustice and explains that the organization aims to engage and mobilize activists “in the fight for racial, social and economic justice in public education.”

It notes: “Readers will find timely coverage of social justice issues in education and ways they can advocate for our students, our schools, and our communities.”

It says that the NEA EdJustice mission is: “(1) Highlight member voices on social justice and offer resources and tools for activism; (2) Build and grow community of activists committed to advancing social justice policies in public education; and (3) Connect and engage education activists in support of opportunity for all students.”

Parents Defending Education will continue to investigate the financial links between school districts and NEA.