NEA is about power.
2) Utah's $3 Million Question. On August 20, EIA published an exclusive report that the NEA Board of Directors had held an emergency telephone conference call to discuss and vote on the Utah Education Association's request for $3 million to defeat the ballot referendum on school vouchers. The board approved the request, though because I didn't have the vote totals, I used some qualifying language in the original report.
People who trust EIA's content, including the Wall Street Journal, picked up the story, and the $3 million figure has been widely disseminated. For two months, however, I have been baffled by the reluctance of the teachers' union and its allies to acknowledge the total. A sum of $1.5 million had already been sent (and mostly spent) by September 17, a full seven weeks before the election. Still, the UEA executive director called the $3 million figure " speculative," and NEA President Reg Weaver refused to even address the question, despite repeated prodding by Education Week.
I have since confirmed from other sources that my original reporting was accurate and correct, that UEA's request was for $3 million, that the money has and will come from the union's national ballot initiative fund, and I now have the additional information that the request was approved by the NEA board of directors via an Internet voting system by a count of 126 to 1. Given time and a break from other tasks, I'm sure I could eventually learn who the lone "nay" vote was.
I certainly understand, and encourage, caution before believing news from unidentified sources. But this secrecy over NEA's contribution to the Utah anti-voucher campaign (not to mention the union's connection to Communities for Quality Education) illustrates why those sources cannot be identified, and why the union's claims cannot be trusted to include the whole truth.