During the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual meeting and representative assembly held in Boston from June 25-July 5, delegates approved 159 new business items, with one of the most radical proposals — promoting the LGBTQ agenda — coming in at number three on the list.
Other proposals called for using NEA funds to “promote solidarity” among all labor unions, oppose deportations of illegal aliens and requirements that educators provide information about the immigration status of students, deliver an ultimatum to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos demanding her resignation if she does not respond “to the satisfaction of the NEA governance” to questions posed by NEA President Eskelsen Garcia, and for the NEA to develop resolutions that local NEA associations can introduce at school board meetings calling for “county-wide and state-wide moratoria on new charter school authorizations in every state that has legislation authorizing the creation of charter schools.”
The obvious intent of this last proposal is to discourage the formation of new charter schools, which often outperform traditional public schools staffed by NEA members.
“Charter schools were started by educators who dreamed of schools in which they would be free to innovate, unfettered by bureaucratic obstacles,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said in a July 4 statement.
“Handing over students’ education to privately managed, unaccountable charters jeopardizes student success, undermines public education and harms communities,” Garcia continued. “This policy draws a clear line between charters that serve to improve public education and those that do not.”
Apparently, Garcia believes that “fettering” educators with obstacles placed in their path by bureaucrats beholden to the NEA — the nation’s largest labor union — is desirable.
The statement posted on the NEA website noted that the 7,000 delegates in attendance at the meeting “overwhelmingly approved a fundamental shift in policy by passing a new policy statement on charter schools.” The statement could not have been more clear about its intent:
The new NEA Policy Statement on Charter Schools will boost NEA[']s forceful support of state and local efforts to limit charter growth and increase charter accountability, and slow the diversion of resources from neighborhood public schools to charters.
Among the criteria that charter schools should be required to adhere to, states the NEA, are “the same civil rights, employment, labor, health and safety laws and staff qualification and certification requirements as other public schools.” (Emphasis added.)
Does this mean that the NEA is demanding that their union-controlled public schools should not face competition from non-union schools — which would be a typical labor union demand? Of course, since charter schools are also public schools, it would not be surprising for the government to rein in whatever education alternatives they have thus far been allowed to offer and to subject them to the same requirements as traditional public schools.
As for “civil rights,” we might place that in the context of the NEA’s “New Business Item 3,” which promotes civil rights for LGBTQ students and educators. Presumably, this means that LGBTQ teachers should be guaranteed the right to teach your impressionable children.
The adopted item is lengthy, but it is important enough to quote at length:
The NEA will continue to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) students and educators by taking the following actions to counter the continuing backlash against LGBTQ individuals:
Call upon our members and society to promote a culture of safety, support, and affirmation that ensures civil rights and advocacy for LGBTQ members and students, including adopting policies that respect the civil rights of all educators and students, inclusive of transgender students and educators.
Provide tools for affiliates and members to use at the state and local level to gain or secure protections for LGBTQ individuals at work and in schools.
Convene periodic webinars for state and local affiliates and members (in the fall, winter, and spring) to provide updates as to the current status of state and local protections as well as models for actions that can be taken at the state and local level to increase protections.
Provide legislative support and resources to state affiliates and tools for local affiliates to use in advocating for increased LGBTQ protections.
Continue to actively participate in the legal efforts to secure full civil rights for LGBTQ individuals by filing amicus curiae briefs in support of challenges to anti-LGBTQ legislative and policy initiatives and in support of ensuring full civil rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.
Evaluate eliminating states and cities as acceptable locations for future NEA meetings if the state or city adopts a law or ordinance that licenses discrimination against students and educators based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
The NEA has just provided parents with one more good reason for refusing to send their children to public (more accurately, government) schools at any cost.
Photo of logo sign outside NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C.: AP Images