State of the Teachers' Unions: Money and Membership
By Stephen Sawchuk
The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers remain powerful players in the K-12 policy arena. With nearly 4 million members in total, they are deeply engaged in elections and in policy. (Five of the unions’ state affiliates have merged.)
Though often lumped together, the two unions differ in the individuals they represent, their governance, and even their internal workings. In the NEA, state affiliates hold much power and often form coalitions to support or oppose initiatives. The AFT’s direction is a function of internal parties or “caucuses.” It is dominated by its New York City affiliate and its strongest caucus, but challengers are growing more vocal.
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor; Center for Responsive Politics; National Institute on Money in State Politics | Design: Linda Jurkowitz