Teacher Unions Losing Members and Clout
The USA’s largest teachers union is losing members and revenue, potentially threatening its political clout.
The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 100,000 members since 2010. It presently has 2.2 million members. By 2014, union projections show, it could lose a cumulative total of about 308,000 full-time teachers and other workers, a 16% drop from 2010. Lost dues will shrink NEA’s budget an estimated $65 million, or 18%.
In 1988, the typical teacher had 15 years of experience, according to research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Ingersoll. By 2008, it was down to one year. “An increasing number of them are not sticking around,” Ingersoll said. “There’s this constant replenishment of beginners.”
America will regret the loss of teachers. Losing experienced teachers, the lifeblood of education will hurt the country. Assume that you needed a vital operation and had a choice of a newly graduated surgeon from a highly regarded medical school or a 15-year experienced doctor who had performed hundreds of these surgeries. Who would you choose?