Yesterday our friend Mike Antonucci blogged on overall membership numbers for the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the country. The news was mixed. While NEA reported a net gain of 16,000 new members, 27 states lost membership – including North Carolina.
The NEA state affiliate in North Carolina is the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). In 2015-16 there were 32,918 active NCAE members in North Carolina, a decline of 8.6 percent from the previous year. The size of the decline was second only to that of the District of Columbia (37.4 percent).
Over the past five years (2011 to 2016), NCAE membership has declined an eye-popping 40.2 percent. The five- year figures represent the third largest decline in the country. Only Wisconsin (52.6 percent) and the District of Columbia (54.5 percent) had larger five-year declines.
While teachers continue to vote with their feet, the State of North Carolina continues to collect payroll dues for NCAE members—even though the organization’s membership numbers fail to meet legal requirements to do so (See G.S. 143B-426.40A(g) ).