Why Did a Liberal Teachers’ Union Honor This GOP Senator?

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) (photo credit: AMSF2011 via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) must be very proud. Along with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), he has received the National Education Association (NEA)’s “highest honor,” the Friend of Education award. The NEA bestowed this award for Alexander’s “bold leadership” in passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a replacement for No Child Left Behind. Previous award-winners include well-known conservatives Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Nancy Pelosi.

As one of the two major teachers’ unions in the U.S., the NEA has a much-deserved reputation for lavishly funding liberal candidates and causes. George Will has noted that in the 2014 elections, the union was the nation’s third-largest spender, almost exclusively supporting Democratic candidates. In connection with its recent national convention, the NEA announced its intention to fund LGBT initiatives, including support of President Obama’s radical transgender guidance for schools, and to oppose state religious liberty statutes (how children’s education is improved if their and their parents’ religious liberty is curtailed is not clear). And it goes without saying that despite complaining about the “poor implementation” of the Common Core national standards, NEA remains a proponent of that centralization scheme.

Conservative teachers have long resented the NEA’s confiscating their dues money, against their will, and using it to advance causes with which they disagree. A legal challenge to this practice fell victim to the absence of Justice Scalia when the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on whether such compelled speech violated the plaintiff teachers’ First Amendment rights. Continue Reading

National Teachers Union Plans to Spend Big to Promote LGBT Agenda

OneNewsNow.com reports that the National Education Association (NEA) is pledging at least $70,000 — and possibly much more — to push transgender policies in schools and fight state-level religious freedom laws. The plan is expected to be addressed during the NEA’s upcoming meeting in Washington next week:

Retired NEA member Jerelee Smith has been tracking the latest proposal, which is expected to raise the concern of conservatives and Christians alike.

“It looks like to me they’re bringing out all the guns,” Smith begins. “There are six different strategies they propose to fight what they call discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.”

The strategies mentioned include pushing for mixed-gender bathrooms and locker rooms, broad support for gay school clubs and the shutting down of conservative and Christian dissent. The NEA is specifically going after religious freedom and accommodation bills, such as the ones passed in North Carolina and Mississippi.

“They’re proposing a rapid force to combat anything that might be just in the formation on a state level that might address the LGBTQ issues,” Smith warns.

[…]

The agenda item obtained by OneNewsNow indicates that the union is willing to spend $70,000 on the effort, but Smith contends the NEA has slush funds with hundreds of thousands of more dollars it can throw at the issue, if it so wishes.

Such a move by the NEA would not necessarily be surprising. Last month, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia praised the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom edict as “not only timely and right but necessary to ensure that everyone – regardless of gender identity – has the opportunity to thrive and achieve.” The teachers union has also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign in the past to push the LGBT agenda in schools nationwide. Continue Reading