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Sunday, May 29, 2005

good news on the education front

Via A Constrained Vision, we learn that teachers' unions are losing market share:
Without much fanfare, teachers have been resisting pressures to join or stick with the dominant labor unions such as the National Education Association. Non-union professional associations now command a 10 percent market share, with more than 265,000 teacher members.

This increasingly independent streak among K-12 teachers has fueled a growth of statewide independent associations. Eight years ago, only 10 states had such associations; now, 20 states do. In at least three states - Georgia, Missouri and Texas - the non-union associations have more members than either the NEA or the American Federation of Teachers, the nation's second- largest teacher union.
In the past, many teachers thought they had no choice but to join the NEA simply because they needed the liability insurance. However, the AAE now offers teachers $2 million worth of liability coverage, twice what the NEA provides and it does so while assessing its members dues about one-third those of the teacher unions. The independents can charge far less because they do not spend members' money for political purposes....

The NEA supports Democratic candidates approximately 95 percent of the time. In addition, the NEA backs such causes as gay marriage, gun control and abortion on demand, even though such positions don't always square with those of its members. By contrast, the [Association of American Educators] does not take stands on political issues and weighs in on education issues only when 75 percent of its members are in support.


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