70.1 percent of the body, or 5,258 delegates, approved the amendment to the bylaws that authorize the $10-per-member annual assessment, 60 percent of which will be used primarily to support the Ballot Measure/Legislative Crisis fund, and the other 40 percent for national and state media campaigns. These funds can’t support campaigns but can support messaging and action against things like anti-collective bargaining legislation.
With more than 3.2 million members, the actual delegates voting for the dues increase represent 0.0016 of the union’s total membership. Despite this, the majority of delegates voting decided that the NEA will now amass a $32 million warchest to use in political advertising and election-related actions—mostly to benefit Democrats.
The Representative Assembly recommended that NEA members vote to re-elect President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. They also voted for a $10 annual dues increase that will be dedicated to funding NEA’s Crisis Fund, a program designed to put money back into the states for pro-public education outreach. The increase will cost NEA members less than $1 per month, but will double the crisis fund’s annual budget.