Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

Is the National Education Association Imploding?

Report compiled by various contributors who attended the 2024 NEA-RA

A strike called by the staff of the National Education Association (NEA) cut short the July 4-7, 2024 NEA Representative Assembly (NEA-RA) in Philadelphia, leaving many delegates frustrated and unable to vote on contentious New Business Items (NBI’s) that had been scheduled for debate for the RA. 

The strike by NEASO (National Education Association Staff Organization) representing the staff of the NEA was prompted because they had not received a raise in the last 10 years.  On the other hand, NEA executives have received increases in salary and benefits over the past decade.

The number of registered teacher delegates has continued to decline over the past 7 years. (According to www.nea.org, approximately 8,000 delegates attended the 2017 NEA-RA, and a registration official at this year’s RA stated that “approximately 5,700 delegates had registered”).

         On Day #2 (July 5th) of the RA, delegates began entering the Philadelphia Convention Hall at 9 am, only to be told at 9:10 am that “delegates needed to exit”.  NEA delegates were asked to not cross the picket line from the striking NEA staff members who were protesting outside the Convention Center.  Exhibitors, many who had paid their travel, lodging and registration expenses, were also told to exit and to pack up their display later. An NEA member who was leaving the Convention Hall was heard to have said, “It appears that the NEA is imploding.”

         Meanwhile, the NEA staff strike provided a “coincidental” opportunity for NEA President Becky Pringle to avoid conflict from erupting over highly controversial New Business Items that had been set for debate in the 3 days ahead.  Tension was sure to arise over delegates’ conflicting positions on various hot button topics, including:

·               Pro-Palestinian NBI’s

·               Pro-Israel NBI’s

·               Pro-open borders in the southern USA

·               Mandatory COVID vaccinations for all school personnel

·               NEA support for International Transgender Visibility Day and Coming Out Day for LGBTQIA+

·               NEA promotion of World Hijab Day in February 2025

·               NEA support for pro-Palestinian “free speech” in all K-12 schools, colleges and universities.  (This NBI, if passed, would cost $127,069.)

·               Virtual participation options for future NEA delegates who are immuno-compromised or have other medical conditions (This NBI, if passed, would cost $5,000,000.)

·               NEA support for inclusive language in all schools with self-identifying pronouns, gender identity, access to bathrooms and sports teams according to self-identified gender identity

·               Recognition, on the NEA calendar,

of Muslim holidays, including Eid Al-Adha, Eid Al-Fitr

·               Acknowledging and highlighting of Jewish-American Heritage Month

·               Inform NEA members and the public about the U.S. Supreme Court & its “departure from long-standing, well-accepted legal principles”, especially those decisions “impacting affirmative action, reproductive rights, and same-sex couples.”

President Joe Biden had been scheduled to speak at the RA on Sunday, July 7th.  Due to the early adjournment of the RA, Biden’s appearance and speech were cancelled.  Interestingly, 50 delegates from the state of Oregon, had earlier proposed the rescinding of NEA’s endorsement of Biden for President until certain demands were met -- a cease-fire of the war in Gaza, the cessation of military aid to Israel, and the “dismantling of the illegal apartheid wall” in Israel.

         NEA endorsed Joe Biden for both the 2020 and 2024 Presidential elections.  Well over 90% of NEA political contributions have supported Democrat candidates and interests.

         Other notable events included:

·               a pro-Palestinian protest and a pro-Israel counter-protest took place outside the Convention Center the day before the NEA-RA began.

·               The 2024 Friend of Education had been scheduled to be awarded to the American Library Association.  At the 2023 NEA-RA, a prominent theme was Read Banned Books.