Earlier today our friend Mike Antonucci at the Education Intelligence Agency (EIA) released NEA State affiliate membership numbers for 2013-14. They aren’t pretty. NEA lost another 42,000 members last year, bringing the total losses over the past five years to 310,000.
The numbers for NEA’s North Carolina affiliate, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) also contain a lot of red. The number of active members in North Carolina declined 12.3 percent to 25,969; the third largest decline in the nation behind Louisiana and Wisconsin. Over the past five years, North Carolina’s active membership declined 45.9 percent; again the third largest decline in the nation.
With respect to total membership, NCAE numbers declined 8.6 percent over the previous year to 39,448. Over the past five years, NCAE membership has declined 35. 6 percent. Again NCAE’s total membership losses are some of the largest in the nation behind only Arizona (49.2 percent) and Wisconsin (45.9 percent).
While the membership losses are bad enough, the numbers may cause yet another problem for NCAE. According to state statute (NC Gen.Statutte 143B-426.40A(g), the organization is eligible for dues check off if:
An employee of any local board of education who is a member of a domiciled employees’ association that has at least 40,000 members, the majority of whom are public school teachers, may authorize in writing the periodic deduction each payroll period from the employee’s salary or wages a designated lump sum or sums to be paid for dues and voluntary contributions for the employees’ association.
Last year legislation was passed that required the State Auditor to certify that NCAE had at least 40,000 members, the majority of whom are public school teachers.
As of this writing the Auditor’s Office has not issued the report.
The numbers released by EIA — which show total membership below 40,000 — reveal NCAE’s dues check off status may be in jeopardy.