The two biggest teachers unions in the country are directing millions of dollars to support liberal political initiatives and lobbying efforts, according to a new report issued by the group Americans for Fair Treatment.
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a copy of that report, which showed that the two unions have used a significant portion of membership dues they collect from teachers for these initiatives.
The American Federation of Teachers, for instance, allocated $35.7 million in membership dues to politics just in the 2021-22 fiscal year, according to the report. Thousands of dollars went to left-leaning organizations including media watchdog group Media Matters for America as well as Friends for Kathy Hochul, the fundraising arm of Hochul’s campaign for governor of New York.
Another major teachers union, the National Education Association, allocated $49.2 million in membership dues in that same timeframe to political initiatives and lobbying efforts. Two of the biggest beneficiaries of that money were March for Our Lives, a gun control advocacy group, and Building Back Together, a group that pushes the leftist agenda of President Joe Biden.
As Americans for Fair Treatment’s CEO Elisabeth Messenger commented to the DCNF recently:
“NEA and AFT are tasked with advocating for teachers across the country, but instead, they choose to involve themselves in partisan politics that many teachers disagree with. This research shines a light on what’s really going on behind the scenes at large national unions: political and financial power grabs at the expense of government employees.”
Roughly 17% of all the spending AFT made during the 21-22 fiscal year went to political and lobbying initiatives, according to the report. Of that total, $1 million was donated to a political organization known as Put Michigan First, which purchased multiple ad campaigns that attacked Tudor Dixon, a Republican candidate for governor in the 2022 midterm elections.
Another $275,000 was donated to Red Wine and Blue, a mothers coalition that pushes for ultra-liberal values.
Over at the NEA, 7% of all membership dues was spent on political lobbying and other initiatives. Of that total, $150,000 was donated to EMILY’s List, a group that works to get candidates who are pro-abortion elected to office.
In addition, $180,000 was donated to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which tries to push policies that benefit “people of color, queer [and] low-income” people.
The recent report also points out the huge discrepancy between the salary of the top officials at the teachers unions and that of the members of the unions. For instance, Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT, earned $488,000 in the 2021-22 reporting period, compared to the average teacher’s salary of $56,483.
At the NEA, President Beck Pringle earned $449,537 in that time period, which is about eight times as much as what the average teacher makes.
Both of the large teachers unions continue to push racial initiatives and gender ideology into America’s classrooms.
Over the summer, the AFT hosted a professional development conference, for instance, that included a session on how teachers could create an “identity-affirming space” in classrooms.