News Story

Teachers' Union: Many Members Conservative; Overwhelmingly Funds 'Progressive' Groups

National Education Association sending money to Media Matters, Progress Michigan

In the past, the National Education Association has made a point to highlight that many of its members consider themselves “conservative.” Those conservative teachers, however, may raise their eyebrows over some of the organizations their national union financially supports.

The Michigan Education Association and NEA conceded that a large percentage of teachers are conservative in their October 2010 magazine.

It posted NEA statistics that found 45 percent of teachers under 30 classified themselves as conservative and 63 percent of teachers aged 40 to 49 classified themselves as conservatives.

Yet, many of those organizations that received money from the NEA describe themselves as improving America through “progressive ideas and action.”

The Education Intelligence Agency recently posted where the $18.8 million in contributions the National Educational Association made for the 2010 fiscal year year went. The website claims all the contributions were paid for with members’ dues money.

The National Education Association gave $100,000 to Media Matters and $10,000 to Progress Michigan.

Progress Michigan describes its mission as “the promotion of progressive ideas” and to “build grassroots support for progressive ideas” and challenge “conservative propaganda in the media.”

Media Matters describes its mission as “correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

There was a $250,000 donation to the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, located in East Lansing. The Great Lakes Center is funded by labor unions and many of its reports echo the stances of the public school unions whose members serve as chairman and trustees.

The NEA did give $20,000 to Republican Main Street Partnership, which was founded to “promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party.” The Republican Main Street Partnership has been described as a lobbying group for “moderate” Republicans.

Sara Robertson, spokesman for the NEA, was asked to list one conservative organization the NEA supported financially. Robertson emailed that she would respond but hadn’t after three days.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.