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The Left’s Piggy Bank?

New report shows the National Education Association to be a cash cow for many liberal causes

The National Education Association put the word out recently that it has many politically conservative members. According to a 2005-06 National Education Association survey, 45 percent of teachers under 30 classified themselves as conservative and 63 percent of teachers age 40 to 49 classified themselves as conservative.

Yet those conservative teachers may not know where the NEA is spending its money. The Education Intelligence Agency recently revealed that the NEA has spent more than $13 million on advocacy groups, many with decidedly non-conservative inclinations.

The NEA gave $85,000 to Democracy Alliance, $100,000 to Media Matters, $10,000 to Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and $5,000 to the Center for Independent Media.

The Center for Independent Media is now known as the American Independent, and is the mother organization of several liberal news organizations, including the Michigan Messenger. In 2009, Metro Times, a Detroit-area alternative newspaper, recognized the Michigan Messenger  as Michigan’s “Best Left-Leaning Web-only News Site.”

Democracy Alliance is funded by many well-known politically liberal donors, including George Soros, and has funded organizations such as ACORN and Air America Radio.

Media Matters for America is an organization dedicated to “correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S.”

“To me, the story is not so much that most of these organizations lean to the left. It's that the NEA is a funding source for so much of the progressive movement,” said Mike Antonucci, director of the Education Intelligence Agency. “It's not just an education issue.”

Antonucci report about the NEA’s donations to these groups is here.

NEA Spokeswoman Laila Hirschfeld didn’t return an e-mail seeking a comment for this article.

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See also:

Government Unions: The Real Wealth in American Politics

MEA Executive Salaries 'Not Based on Merit'

Fat Years for State's Big Teacher Union

MEA Has $174.5 Million in Liabilities, $66.3 Million in Dues

Nearly One Thousand Six-Figure Salaries at UAW and National Education Association

Meet James Hohman, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy at the Mackinac Center. James discusses his latest project, an analysis of Proposal 1, the proposal on personal property tax reform that will appear on the August 5th ballot. Read more about Proposal 1 here: http://www.mackinac.org/20246


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