The following letter to the editor appeared in the News Sun on March 6, 2006.
For 30 years the NEA has supported Democrats almost 100 percent. From September '04 through August '05, they spent $25 million on political activities and lobbying. They spent another $65.5 million on contributions, gifts and grants. What does the NEA get in return for all of these huge expenditures? They get repeated hikes in educational spending at all levels — federal, state, and local. One more reason why your taxes go up every year.
Any Democrat seeking to improve his party standing must adhere to the NEA educational policy. This includes opposing school choice, advocating smaller class size, hiring more teachers, and very important, blocking all efforts at accountability. Observant taxpayers who live in the school districts covering Gurnee, Winthrop Harbor, and Waukegan understand what lack of accountability means when it comes to the school districts and their continued salary and pension increases.
In view of the above I have three questions:
1) Is it right to have the largest teachers union in the country being so active in the political arena?
2) Is the NEA active in areas they have no business being in?
3) Under the pressure of the NEA policies are our young people really learning what they need to exist in our world of today?
My final comment — due to the lack of accountability, students are not being taught necessities, thus are not learning due to teachers not being held to some level of accountability. Maybe a merit system would provide better teachers on a more consistent basis.