“Across the nation, educator pay continues to erode, expanding the large pay gap between what teachers earn and what similarly educated and experienced professionals in other fields earn.
"Educators don’t do this work to get rich, they do this work because they believe in students. But their pay is not commensurate with the dedication and expertise they bring to the profession.”
Given the NEA's frequently professed concerns about low teacher pay, critics wonder why the union spends so little of the $377 million it received mostly in dues paid by 2.9 million members in 2021 on "representational activities"—that is, bargaining for better pay and working conditions for rank-and-file classroom teachers.
Calculated as a percentage of NEA total revenue from all sources of $588 million, the $32 million represents only 5.4 percent. The $588 million figure includes the $194 million the NEA received through the sale of "investments and fixed assets."
The NEA didn't respond by press time to The Epoch Times' request for an interview with a spokesman regarding the data it reported on its LM2. All labor unions are required to submit the LM2, which is a detailed picture of revenue, assets, and spending, to the Labor Department annually.
Digging deeper into the NEA's LM2 reveals a union that pays lavish salaries to hundreds of its more than 1,900 employees, especially among those working at the national headquarters in Washington.
There are 344 NEA employees being paid more than $100,000 annually, nearly one in every five; many of the 344 make twice or three times the national average teacher salary.
Another 45 NEA employees are paid more than $200,000 annually, with many of those receiving as much as four times the national average teacher salary.
- Rebecca Pringle, the current NEA president, receives $431,317 in total compensation, including $345,590 in salary.
- Princess Moss, NEA's vice president, gets $371,748 in total compensation, including $302,710 in salary.
- Noel Candelaria, the NEA secretary-treasurer, socks away $348,050 in total compensation, including $278,190 in salary.
- Kimberly Anderson, NEA's executive director, is second only to Pringle, making $406,951 in total compensation, including $323,685 in salary.
- John Stocks, listed on the LM2 as an "NEA Special Adviser," gets $319,689 in salary, with $334,219 total compensation.
"Rather than advocating for increased salaries for teachers, union leaders lobby for more federal and state funding so school districts will hire more dues-paying members, many of whom aren't actually teachers," she said.
"Unfortunately, the unions have no interest in increasing teacher salaries; union leaders are just focused on increasing membership and collecting dues to spend on political campaigns and union leaders' already-high salaries. Teachers union leaders are self-serving and callous to the needs of individual teachers. Parents shouldn't have to feel powerless and teachers shouldn't feel hopeless anymore."
“It’s common for school administrators—and interest-group employees who claim to represent teachers—to earn more than teachers," Butcher said. "Given the amount of misspending and political lobbying that may not represent the interests of individual teachers, educators should be asking whether unions are really operating in a way that protects their jobs and improves their working conditions."