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It’s likely few Americans know the National Education Association (NEA) was given a congressional charter in 1906 that created the organization to “elevate the character and advance the interest” of the teaching profession.
Just in case there was even the slightest doubt that such a noble purpose had been long ago utterly abandoned, delegates to the NEA’s July 2019 conference soundly defeated a proposed resolution directing the union to “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education. NEA will make student learning the priority of the association.’’
No, making sure your child gets the best education possible is not even remotely what most inspires the NEA’s national leadership and likely the majority of its members.
What inspires them now is handing millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the most liberal Democratic candidates every two years, as well as awarding multi-millions more in favorable propaganda and compulsory classroom indoctrination to advocates of curriculums based on Critical Race Theory, woke gender studies, and other far-Left “progressive” poison.
It is no exaggeration to say the NEA is so powerful and entrenched that imagining a future without the union — or its partner-in-crime, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — is all but impossible for Democrats.
But don’t tell that to Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wisc.), who recently introduced HR 7510, the “National Education Association Charter Repeal Act” which would do exactly what its title describes. Joining Fitzgerald in co-sponsoring the bill is Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), along with 16 other House GOPers.
Also endorsing the proposal are the American Principles Project, America First Policy Institute (AFPI), Club for Growth, Concerned Women for America LAC, ForAmerica, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), National Right to Work Committee (NRTW), and Young America’s Foundation (YAF).
To be sure, the bill has zero chance of passage in 2022, thanks to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her razor-thin Democratic majority. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would laugh at the notion of even allowing such a proposal to get a vote in the present 50-50 Senate.
But what if, come November, voters put Republicans back in charge of the House and Senate, as seems quite possible? Would a new Republican congressional majority actually pass HR 7510 in 2023 and then dare President Joe Biden to veto it?
Before answering that question, understand that jerking the NEA’s congressional charter wouldn’t in the short term faze its ability to keep right on doing what it has been doing for so long. The IRS recognizes the NEA as a labor union, a status that wouldn’t be changed one iota by the loss of the congressional charter.
So would the passage of HR 7510 be nothing but symbolic? Some congressional Republicans and many GOP base voters who think the party is mostly all talk and no walk would view voting for the proposal as a waste of time.
And considering that Republican majorities voted over and over in the 115th Congress to repeal Obamacare knowing full well that Barack Obama in the Oval Office meant certain veto, it’s not hard to see why so many voters have become utterly skeptical of GOP promises.
But the skeptics should listen to Virginia Gentles, director of the Independent Women’s Voice Education Freedom Center, who points out a critically important analogy:
“Look at what happened with the National School Board Association, that didn’t even take congressional action to dismantle a pretty powerful and influential organization,” Gentles told The Epoch Times on April 19.
“That just took parents rising up and saying ‘no, you’re not going to call us domestic terrorists’ and then putting pressure on their local and state associations to pull out from the national organization,” she said. And indeed, to date, nearly half of NASB’s state members have either pulled out of the organization or are planning to do so.
Taking away the NEA’s congressional charter wouldn’t change the union’s present legal status or political position, but it just might provide the spark needed to light a fire under the remnant of professional teachers who don’t approve of the national leadership’s political or culture war choices.
As Gentles further pointed out, there are alternatives to the NEA out there for such teachers, like the Association of American Educators (AAE). If the AAE’s ranks began swelling with disaffected NEA members, Washington politicians would take notice.
And here’s something else to think about: Banning partial-birth abortions did little to reduce the number of babies murdered every year in America, but here’s what it did accomplish: It helped legitimize additional restrictions on abortions and thereby contributed mightily to the momentum that may soon see the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.
Take the NEA’s congressional charter away and then the next step might be a national parents’ rights law, followed by a ban on federal funds going to any school district that incorporates Critical Race Theory/gender studies materials in curriculums, then a guarantee that all federal education aid goes where the students go, not where the politicians and union bullies decide.
And after that, who knows, maybe a nationwide Teachers’ Right to Work law that puts genuine teeth into enforcement of the Supreme Court’s landmark Janus decision in 2018. Anything can happen once that first step is taken.
One thing GOP base skeptics too often forget is that American politics is rarely an all-or-nothing proposition. Progress comes in spurts and ebbs, and only those who understand the reality of the Long March gain lasting victories.
The Left learned this long ago. It’s time the Right did as well.
Source: This post first appeared on PJ Media