Following nationwide scandals about teachers’ unions spying on parents, going on strike, and fighting to keep schools closed, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to introduce legislation to end the National Education Association (NEA)’s federal charter. Representatives Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI) and Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced a version of this bill in the House of Representatives.
“As the son of a teacher and someone who really appreciated the teachers in my life and my children’s lives, I get incredibly frustrated when our schools get distracted by social issues and become political proving grounds,” said Lankford. “Oklahoma parents are tired of the woke ideology being pushed on their kids and the progressive values being forced into our schools by a giant teachers union, the National Education Association. The NEA created an ‘enemies list’ of parents willing to stand up to their tactics, and they work lockstep with the Biden Administration for their policy agenda. Unions should protect and preserve workers’ rights and speak out for the benefit of their members, not push a political agenda on our kids. The NEA is the only federally chartered union; it’s time to hold them to account.”
“Over the past few years, teachers’ unions have demonstrated they will put their political priorities ahead of student wellbeing every chance they get,” said Blackburn. “The NEA is by all accounts a political organization and should not be rewarded for their left-wing activism with a federal charter.”
“The National Education Association used to stand up for students. Unfortunately, it is now a federally chartered fundraising group for the Democratic National Committee. Students and parents in Wyoming deserve better than the NEA having a congressional seal of approval for its political efforts. Every other special interest group operates without a federal charter, and the NEA should be no different. Thank you to Senator Blackburn for leading this effort,” said Lummis.
“The NEA is basically a partisan lobbying arm for the DNC that irreparably harmed students during the COVID pandemic and continues to push anti-American ideologies in classrooms. Congress shouldn’t condone its misbehavior. I’d like to thanks Senator Blackburn for leading Rep. Fitzgerald’s and my initiative in the Senate,” said Banks.
“The National Education Association has strayed far from its original mission. Rather than supporting students, the NEA consistently put the interests of progressive teachers’ unions over the learning of students. It is time for Congress to say enough is enough and revoke the NEA’s federal charter. I support Senator Blackburn’s companion legislation and appreciate her dedication to putting students first,” said Fitzgerald.
A federal charter lends an organization the legitimacy of being sanctioned by the federal government. There are approximately 100 organizations operating under a federal charter. The NEA is the nation’s largest labor union and the only labor union operating under a federal charter. More than a quarter of the NEA’s yearly expenditures are spent on political activities—overwhelmingly favoring Democrats. In California, the teachers’ union spied on parents who advocated to reopen schools.
Lankford recently stood up against the NEA for proposing the creation of an “enemies list” at their recent conference based on those who don’t want to teach part of the progressive agenda.