Moms for Liberty Takes on the NEA ‘K-12 Cartel’

'They care more about radical, far left extremist ideologies and agendas than they do about the teaching and learning that should be happening in classrooms.'
By Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson
Reporter
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: patricia.tolson@epochtimes.us
July 19, 2022 Updated: July 19, 2022

In early July, the National Education Association (NEA) put forward a resolution to replace the word “mother” in contracts with the words “birthing parent” in order to promote inclusivity. Fed up with the expanding promotion of their “radical, far left extremist ideologies” in America’s education system, one mother is on a mission to expose, and take head on, the organization she now calls the “K-12 Cartel.”

The resolution, labeled NBI 63, was one of many proposed at the 2022 NEA Representative Assembly, held in Chicago, July 3–6. “Using this contract language, members need not worry about how a Board of Education/solicitor defines ‘maternity leave,’ ‘mother,’ and/or ‘father’; the language is an inclusive reflection of how LGBTQIA+ members build families,” the resolution said.

Democrat leadership and NEA-backed Senate candidates were silent on whether or not they supported the measure. While the Biden administration’s 2022 budget proposal also replaced the word “mothers” with “birthing people,” the White House was equally silent on the NEA’s measure.

During a July 9 interview, mother and co-founder of Moms for Liberty, Tiffany Justice, slammed the proposal, saying the NEA was nothing more than a “K-12 Cartel,” pushing a radical political agenda.

Whether it was due to swift public backlash, or the absence of support among Democratic candidates and leadership, NBI 63 was ultimately not even brought to a vote. However, Justice is not backing down.

“There are many other things the NEA proposed, and I really suggest to people start paying attention because you will be shocked at the radical agenda items the union is pushing across this country,” Justice told The Epoch Times.

Progressive Agenda

For example, delegates at the Representative Assembly also approved a new policy statement calling for an end to the “criminalization and policing of students,” but stopped just short of proposing the removal of armed school resource officers, guardians, and marshals from school campuses.

Delegates also passed a measure proposed by Arlene Inouye, the secretary of United Teachers Los Angeles, that says the “NEA will publicly stand in defense of abortion and reproductive rights and encourage members to participate in activities including rallies and demonstrations, lobbying and political campaigns, educational events, and other actions to support the right to abortion, contraception, and a person’s decision about their health.” When presenting her idea, Inouye said other delegates asked her to remove the word “abortion” from the proposal. She declined.

Delegates attacked what they call the surge in anti-LGBTQ legislation being proposed and passed in states across the country, such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law (pdf) which was inaccurately labeled by the left as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In the text of the entire law—which prohibits instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade—the word “gay” is never mentioned.

A measure that was proposed but did not pass at the Representative Assembly was a motion to support a national policy for mandatory masking and COVID-19 vaccines in schools. The measure was soundly defeated by 84 percent of the delegates.

Tiffany Justice, mother and co-founder of Moms for Liberty is taking on the National Education Association in a mission to expose them for who they are.
Tiffany Justice, mother and co-founder of Moms for Liberty is taking on the National Education Association in a mission to expose them for who they are. (Tiffany Justice/Moms for Liberty)

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant, so let’s pull back the education curtain,” Justice suggested. “They’re certainly helping to do that and Moms for Liberty is working to show America just who the NEA really is. When you see what they’re really concerned about, it makes sense why over two-thirds of fourth graders can’t read proficiently.”

Failing Education System

Government statistics show that America’s education system is failing. In fact, the longer a child remains in the public school system the less proficient they become in multiple subjects.

Government data for 2019 shows the average fourth grader has a 41 percent proficiency level in mathematics. By the eighth grade, that proficiency level drops to 34 percent. By the twelfth grade, math proficiency is only 24 percent, nearly half of what it was in fourth grade. In reading, fourth graders have an average proficiency rate of 35 percent. By eighth grade, the proficiency level falls to 34 percent, and by the twelfth grade, America’s average student shows only a slight proficiency improvement of 37 percent. In writing, the proficiency levels are 28 percent in fourth grade with eighth and twelfth graders sharing a score of 27 percent.

America’s students fare worse in science. Fourth-graders have only a 36 percent proficiency rate and eighth-graders drop to 35 percent. Twelfth-graders have only a 22 rate of proficiency. The worst scores come in history, with fourth-graders starting out with only 20 percent proficiency and dropping to 15 percent by the eighth grade. By grade 12, America’s students have a paltry 12 percent proficiency level in history.

Numbers from USA Facts show similar results.

“As I was raised, my parents told me that I should believe people when they show me who they are, and the NEA has certainly shown the American people who they are and we believe them,” Justice explained. “They care more about radical, far left extremist ideologies and agendas than they do about the teaching and learning that should be happening in classrooms.”

Politics and Lobbying

The NEA also appears to care more about pushing its political agenda than it does about representing its own members.

Data compiled by Americans for Fair Treatment shows the NEA spends more on “political activities and lobbying” than it does on “employee benefits” or “representational activities.” According to the April 2022 report, 17.6 percent of the NEA’s spending went to “political activities and lobbying.” According to Open Secrets, the NEA spent $2,720,000 on lobbying in 2021. So far for 2022, the NEA has spent $730,000 on lobbying.

In the meantime, the NEA spent only 15.1 percent on employee benefits and a mere 8.6 percent on representational activity.

While organizations like the NEA cannot contribute directly to candidates and party committees, they get around that by donating through their affiliates, primarily comprised of state and county teachers’ associations like the California Teachers Association and Duval Teachers United.

“They had 6,000 delegates come together at their representative assembly with far left business items being proposed,” Justice noted. “On their website, they say they represent three million members but they also say they represent and advocate for 50 million school children. I know a lot of parents who tell the NEA, ‘we don’t need you advocating for our kids.’ A year ago, almost to the day, Randi Weingarten said CRT was not being taught in America’s classrooms. But if you go to the NEA website you will see how they speak about systemic racism and about looking at everything through a racial justice lens.”

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten addresses a 'Let's Finish the Job for the People' rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 14, 2021.
American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten addresses a ‘Let’s Finish the Job for the People’ rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 14, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

‘Systemic Racism’

“Let’s be clear,” Weingarten, the head of the union, said during an American Federation of Teachers (ATF) conference in July 2021. “It’s a method of examination taught in law school and college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists—and, in particular, whether it has an effect on law and public policy. But culture warriors are labeling any discussion of race, racism, or discrimination as CRT to try to make it toxic. They are bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history.”

However, even a rudimentary review of the NEA website proves the NEA’s determination to push CRT tenants like social justice, systemic racism, and preferential treatment for people of color.

Using NBI 63 in the search, a host of topics are shown, including NEA and Racial Justice in Education, explaining how “Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.”

Data Brief: Diversity and Representation in PK-12 Education Administration, explains “the importance of an educator workforce that reflects the diversity of the United States.”

Other pieces: To What Extent Are Ethnic Minority Teacher Candidates Adversely Affected by High-stakes Assessments?Educators Who Look Like Me, and Recruiting Educators of Color focus entirely on the NEA’s mission to hire teachers based on their skin color rather than on their academic qualifications.

The NEA’s Conference on Racial & Social Justice, held from June 29 to July 1, provided “a unique space for educators, students, parents and families, organizers, community members and leaders to unite for the advancement of Justice in Education.”

The NEA agenda of their Representative Assembly Meeting and Event Schedule for June 14–July 6 included a Conference on Racial and Social Justice scheduled for June 30–July 1.

While looking for proposals for their 2022 NEA National Leadership Summit, the NEA instructed contributors to make sure their ideas would “advance the NEA’s strategic priorities,” including “Racial Justice in Education.”

‘Exposing Liberals for Who They Really Are’

“It’s like the Libs of TikTok,” Justice said. “We don’t need to do anything except show them for who they really are and how they don’t focus on the kids and education, learning and teaching.”

Through accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, Libs of TikTok gained over a half-million followers and tens of millions of views in less than a year by doing nothing more than exposing liberals for who they really are by reposting what they share on social media.

According to Justice, the “K-12 Cartel” needs to “focus on teaching children instead of pushing far-left ideology in classrooms. She also believes the ones pushing the radical agenda are the minority in the NEA and it’s time for the majority to “stand up fight back.”

“Far left extremists have taken over the NEA and Moms for Liberty does not believe the three million members the NEA has across the country actually believes in any of these woke ideologies and radical, far-left extremist ideas,” Justice asserted. “I think they’re desperate and they’re really showing themselves. We ask teachers to stand up and fight back, to not pay their dues, and to not be members.”

Labor Unions

During her remarks at the NEA 2022 annual meeting Vice President Kamala Harris said to much applause that “this is an historic moment, I think, for the labor movement. Today, unions have their highest approval rating since 1965. About half of all non-union workers say they would join a union if given the chance. That is almost 60 million people. Think about that.”

While enthusiasm among union members is at its highest point since 1965, it’s only because those who want unions to be in control are still members. In 2018, a ruling by the Supreme Court said workers no longer have to be part of or pay dues to a union or an association in order to keep their jobs. Since that ruling, those who were forced to join and pay union dues have fled and membership has fallen to a record low.

The NEA has also been bleeding membership. In 2019, the NEA lost nearly 33,000 more members. In 2020, they lost another 2,553 members. In October 2021, the Education Intelligence Agency reported that “numbers from early 2021 show a decline from an all-time high of 3,234,639 members when Barack Obama was president, to 2,937,366 members, including retirees, a low unseen since 2006. Teacher Freedom.org even provides instructions to teachers on how to cancel their NEA membership. Over the past five years, some state affiliates have lost a fifth or more of their members. Public-workers unions lost nearly 5,000 members in the first year.

Thousands of teachers have already quit, and a February survey released by the NEA itself shows that half of those who remain are also threatening to leave. While some blame the stress of the pandemic, low pay, or educator burnout for the mass exodus, Justice believes the flight of “good teachers” is being caused by the intimidation and fear they’re subjected to from the radical leftists who are trying to force them to embrace their destructive liberal ideologies and to comply with forced masking and COVID vaccines.

The Epoch Times reached out to the NEA for comment.

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: People who are part of standout protest organized by the American Federation of Teachers chant, hold signs, and raise their fists outside of the Massachusetts State House on August 19, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The group is calling for a uniform requirement for all districts to start the school year with a comprehensive distance learning plan as well as clear health and safety standards that must be met for the gradual return of in-person learning.
People who are part of standout protest organized by the American Federation of Teachers chant, hold signs, and raise their fists outside of the Massachusetts State House in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 19, 2020. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Forcing Teachers Out

A Kansas elementary school teacher was fined $1,000 for quitting over the district’s forced masking policies and the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

Half of the teachers at First Presbyterian Preschool in Tequesta, Florida resigned in August 2021 following the decision to maintain their mandatory forced masking policy for teachers and staff, regardless of their vaccination status.

An English teacher at a top New Jersey prep school quit in June 2021 saying CRT was being used to create a “hostile culture of conformity and fear” by trying to force white and male students to believe they are “oppressors.”

The emotional, public resignation of a Loudoun County, Virginia teacher during a school board meeting in August 3021 went viral. Her reason? She felt like “a cog” in a “machine” that was determined to push left-wing policies like CRT, transgenderism and forced masking.

Frustrated by the mounting pushback from parents and other educators against the teaching of CRT, an educator named Vivett Dukes said white, “racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic” teachers who refused to teach CRT should leave the profession. “… there’s no longer room for you in the proverbial inn,” she wrote for Citizen Education. “Exit stage left. The show is over. Your leading role has been cancelled without renewal.”

Giving Teachers a Voice

“Good teachers who got into teaching to be able to reach children are feeling like their jobs are being hijacked and they’re being used as political operatives and I don’t think they appreciate it,” Justice said. “The majority of these teachers love kids and got into teaching for the right reasons, because the really want to see children do well. I’ve worked as a school board member. I’ve worked alongside those teachers. I know they exist. But the NEA has been captured by far-left extremists and they are now the foot soldiers of the far-left extremist Biden administration and American parents see them for what they are. We can’t trust them anymore. Now, they’ve shown us who they really are and we believe them and we don’t trust them with our kids.”

Justice also vowed that Moms for Liberty is going to do everything it can “to help give teachers a voice and help teachers feel protected so they can push back against this radical ideology that we don’t believe the majority of American teachers want.”

According to Justice, “parents should not have to worry that the teaching that is happening in school is completely contradictory to what parents are teaching their children at home.”

Asked how she will take on the “K-12 Cartel,” Justice said the plan is simple. “Show them for who they are. They’re liars and parents see that they’re lying, and we’re tired of having our children held hostage by the unions.”

Patricia Tolson
Patricia Tolson, an award-winning national investigative reporter with 20 years of experience, has worked for such news outlets as Yahoo!, U.S. News, and The Tampa Free Press. With The Epoch Times, Patricia’s in-depth investigative coverage of human interest stories, election policies, education, school boards, and parental rights has achieved international exposure. Send her your story ideas: patricia.tolson@epochtimes.us