Kyle Olson
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At its recent convention, National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen publicly thanked students for raising funds for the union political action committee, known as the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education. EAGtv provided a video with the comments:

“We also want to recognize the great work of our student programs all year long they’ve been utilizing our member-to-member fundraising tool go.NEAfund.org to raise money from students all over the country. Thank you retirees. Thank you students!”

Aside from not being able to insert complete sentences into the teleprompter, Eskelsen is acknowledging that students helped raise money to elect union-friendly politicians.

Can’t the union for once just leave the children alone? Can’t the union for once allow students to receive an education untainted by the gripes of unhappy employees?

Political action committees are only supposed to solicit funds from union or association members or employees. So why are students participating in the first place?

The NEA PAC handbook says, “Power comes not just from more members, securing a good contract or winning an election, but by mobilizing all of our resources – people, money and ideas – around a common concern.”

One would think the “common concern” would be improving public education in many parts of the country where it’s downright pathetic. Perhaps if the union was more interested in student achievement than feathering its own nest, the American public would have a better view of the union.

But rightly so, just 42% of Americans have a “somewhat favorable” opinion of the union, according to Rasmuessen Reports.

The more America understands that the union is about political power and influence versus high academic performance, the lower than number will sink. Using students to raise PAC funds won’t help, either.

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Kyle Olson

Kyle is Founder and CEO of Education Action Group Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit organization with the goal of promoting sensible education reform and exposing those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.