At the NEA’s four-day Representative Assembly this year, delegates went through 83 new business items and a generous number of amendments and resolutions. Subjects ranged from research on dropout prevention and doubling the number of NEA cyber-lobbyists to Domino’s Pizza chain CEO David Brandon’s support for merit pay and outsourcing.
Some resolutions—such as one calling for the NEA to support impeaching any president who starts a war with another country—never saw the light of day, with members voting not to consider it. Others, such as an attempt by conservative delegates to get the NEA to spell out that it has “no position on abortion,” led to fiery debates over the implications of such a change. In the end, that attempt did not go anywhere, either.
There were the not-so-educational resolutions, like the one about the NEA supporting legislation to make war-profiteering illegal, which was adopted. Another encouraging affiliates to work with agencies that seek to end the child sex-slave trade got referred to a committee for study.
Finally, there were the unpredictable ones. a majority turned down an attempt to get the NEA to publicize its support for the right of undocumented high school graduates to receive financial aid to attend colleges and universities. They did, on the other hand, approve a legislative amendment supporting access to higher education and in-state tuition for in-state residents regardless of immigration status, as well as paths to legalization for undocumented high school graduates.
This is just a small sampling. If you’re in the mood, you can find all the resolutions, amendments, and new business items as well as their results at the NEA’s Web site here. There even are videos of all the major speeches made by NEA leaders and prominent guests during the RA, although you have to be a member to view the Obama video (the edited version?)
A version of this news article first appeared in the NEA & AFT: Live From the Conventions blog.