Mike Antonucci, veteran union reporter on The74 and elsewhere recently released his annual figures on changes in National Education Association (NEA) and NEA state affiliate membership and finances. Antonucci’s data is from 2016-17 and includes all fifty states and National Affiliates
Some of the major findings:
- National Membership in NEA is up .6 of a percent; 2,981,200 members helped to bring in $374.4 million in revenue and generate a $13.4 million surplus.
However, things weren’t as rosy at the state level:
- Almost half of the NEA state affiliates (23) experienced membership losses. Seventeen affiliates had operating losses ranging from $21,000 (Wyoming) to $31 million (New York).
The news was not good for NEA affiliate in North Carolina, North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE):
- NCAE membership totaled 30,562, a decline of 7.2 percent from the previous year.
- The decline was the second largest in the country and was eclipsed by only the Utah School Employment Association, which experienced a decline of 7.5 percent.
- As might be expected, the decline in membership didn’t help the finances of a membership-driven organization. In 2016-17, revenue declined to $5,787,667, or 17.7 percent, the largest decline of any NEA affiliate in the nation.
- The revenue decline contributed to an NCAE operating deficit of about $344,000. Seventeen other state affiliates also ran operating deficits. Eight other states had operating deficits larger than $344,000, placing NCAE squarely in the middle of any ranking of operating deficits among NEA state affiliates.
I’ve been tracking NCAE membership since 2009. I may be wrong, but I don’t remember a time when membership didn’t decline. It has been a long steady slide.
These realities raise two points.
While NCAE membership continues to slide, the state continues to provide the organizations with dues check off benefits, despite not meeting the threshold of 40,000 members. That’s a subject we’ve written about extensively (see here, and here.) We fail to see a reason why state government should provide administrative services for a private organization, or any organization for that matter. But the law hasn’t changed, and the practice continues. But that’s another issue.
People point to last May’s teacher rally in Raleigh as evidence that NCAE’s fortunes have changed. If that’s the case, it’s reasonable to expect that NCAE’s legislative efforts and Red4Ed NC would have received more traction than they have. We’ll have to wait at least a year – maybe more — to get a definitive answer.
Until then, NCAE’s membership continues its slide.