NEA Representative Assembly. Allies and enemies.


The National Education Association is meeting now in Minneapolis a week after the Janus ruling by the Supreme Court.

There are about 7,000 delegates, the fewest in my memory.

I’m not there, but I can watch on the web broadcast and I’m getting lots of texts from friends who are delegates.

Coming off of the disastrous endorsement process in 2016, some delegates are attempting to require a direct vote by members for any presidential endorsement. It will be interesting to see where that goes. I support it, of course.

Two important issues are definitely heading for the floor.

The leadership is proposing a constitutional change allowing for opening up NEA membership to allies engaged or “interested in advancing the cause of education.”

I think, depending on the details – which are yet to be worked out – this is a good idea. The current situation demands us to rethink the way teacher unions are conceived, how they are structured and who can be in them. Industrial models are over a century old and are dying.

If this is the direction of the conversation, I’m glad to see – again, depending on the details – that the leadership and delegates will be talking about this.

Another New Business Item caught my attention.


As NBI 91, this will come up pretty late in the session. I hope delegates are still paying attention.

I wrote about the issue last February in a post entitled The strange love affair between Illinois pro-gun Congressman Rodney Davis and the IEA.

This was shortly after the killings of teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

David Hogg anti-gun activist and Douglas High School shooting survivor speaking to NEA RA delegates.

Last April a group of delegates to the Illinois Education Association tried and failed to get the IEA’s IPACE to withdraw support to Davis and other pro-gun politicians.

This issue is back, now as NBI 91 at the NEA RA.

Evanston teacher and delegate Clare Kelly and 50 other IEA delegates, many from states that have experienced first-hand the explosion of school gun violence, have signed on and it will get to the floor.

I wish them success.



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