Scott Fitzgerald (R, WI) and Aaron Withe, Freedom Foundation CEO, have it in spades regarding the National Education Association. The headline on their Tuesday Wall Street Journal op-ed illustrates it:
America’s Largest Teachers Union Isn’t Beyond Reform
Yes, it is. The NEA is utterly beyond redemption as its managers insist on pushing CRT, child transgenderism, and more from its pantheon of woke ideologies onto children, all the while deprecating the role of those children’s parents in their kids’ education.
The failure is sealed by NEA President Becky Pringle’s hysterical rant earlier this month at the NEA’s 2023 Representative Assembly, excerpted here.
The NEA is a Congressionally chartered teachers union, and Fitzgerald and Withe think it would be sufficient to amend the union’s charter
by adding 11 accountability and transparency provisions commonly found in other federal charters, such as prohibiting the NEA from engaging in political activities and lobbying, requiring it to submit annual reports to Congress, and requiring that its officers be US citizens.
However, the relationship between a union so chartered and Congress is tenuous at best. Congress doesn’t even supervise its chartered organizations; it only receives nominally annual financial statements. In the NEA’s case, its Congressional charter enjoined the union to promot[e] “the cause of education in the United States.” Yet, by Fitzgerald’s and Withe’s own admission,
[t]he NEA has worked not to fulfill its original purpose but to promote a left-wing social and economic agenda at odds with many Americans’ values. The union has used its institutional heft as leverage to influence nearly every major policy debate, from the debt ceiling and abortion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Second Amendment. Meantime, it has opposed efforts to reform failing schools by such means as school choice, curriculum transparency and performance pay for teachers.
What makes them think the NEA’s management would do any better at obeying an adjusted charter?
No, Congress is better off withdrawing the NEA’s charter altogether. Fitzgerald and Withe and their respective colleagues should work more locally to get the NEA decertified in as many school districts as possible.