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Teachers Unions Spend Millions in Members’ Dues on Political Campaigns and Lobbying



Clear Facts:

  • The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) spent $35.7 million and $49.2 million respectively from members’ dues on political and lobbying activities during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
  • The Presidents of both unions earn significantly more than the average teacher; Randi Weingarten of AFT made $488,000 and Becky Pringle of NEA earned $449,537 during the same period.
  • Both unions have introduced gender and racial policies in schools, with NEA promoting gender-transition procedures for LGBTQ youth and AFT emphasizing “identity-affirming spaces.”

According to a recent report from Americans for Fair Treatment, the two largest teachers unions in the U.S. have allocated substantial portions of their members’ dues to political and lobbying activities.

The report was exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) spent a whopping $35.7 million of members’ dues on political efforts during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

This included contributions to left-leaning groups like Friends for Kathy Hochul, the Democratic New York governor’s campaign, and Media Matters for America, a media oversight entity.

Meanwhile, the National Education Association (NEA) spent an even larger sum of $49.2 million from its members’ dues on similar activities.

Their beneficiaries included Building Back Together, which supports Democratic President Joe Biden’s policy initiatives, and March for Our Lives, an advocacy group campaigning for stricter gun regulations.

Elisabeth Messenger, the CEO of Americans for Fair Treatment, expressed concern about these allocations.

“NEA and AFT are meant to champion the interests of teachers nationwide. However, they seem to prioritize partisan politics, which may not always align with the beliefs of their member base,” she stated.

“This report underscores the political and financial maneuvers these major unions undertake, sometimes at the cost of the very government workers they represent.”


The report further detailed that AFT dedicated about 17% of its expenditure on political ventures, which included a $1 million donation to Put Michigan First.

This organization spearheaded ad campaigns that criticized Republican Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon.

Additionally, AFT contributed $275,000 to Red Wine and Blue, a group of mothers advocating for progressive values.

On the other hand, the NEA utilized 7% of its collected dues for political and lobbying activities.

Significant donations from NEA included $150,000 to EMILY’s List, aiming to support pro-choice candidates, and $180,000 to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which pushes for policies that particularly benefit marginalized groups.

The report also contrasted the salaries of the leaders of these unions with that of the average teacher.

AFT President Randi Weingarten earned $488,000 during the 2021-2022 period, which is almost nine times more than the average teacher’s salary of $56,483.

Similarly, NEA President Becky Pringle’s earnings stood at $449,537, nearly eight times more than an average educator.


Both AFT and NEA have also made headlines for introducing gender and racial policies in educational settings.

For instance, the NEA recently passed a resolution promoting gender-transition procedures for LGBTQ youth, while the AFT conducted a training session emphasizing the creation of “identity-affirming spaces” in classrooms.

As of now, there has been no comment from either AFT or NEA in response to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s findings.

We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. Frank Morgan

    August 30, 2023 at 6:50 am

    Left wing is continuing to initiate only one avenue- their policy and believes as the only way. They are so wrong in pushing these policies.Sad

    • Sabdy

      August 30, 2023 at 1:16 pm

      Teachers unions are the root to all evil! They push their own political agenda and causes!

      • The Rebel

        August 30, 2023 at 1:24 pm

        You are right———————but oh! how they love controlling their sheeples !!!

  2. David Pickell

    August 30, 2023 at 6:55 am

    35 and 49 million dollars. 3.3 million teachers. That’s $25 per teacher. Doesn’t sound so ridiculous that way. As for lobbying for stronger gun restrictions, you thunk teachers aren’t worried about guns?

    • The Rebel

      August 30, 2023 at 9:50 am

      Did you buy your teaching degree at WalMart? Neither the AFT or the NEA leader is worth that kind of salary———let alone actually earning it. Some of their public tantrums show their craziness————-a bad reflection on the people they supposedly represent !!!!

      • Paul Castle

        August 30, 2023 at 11:12 pm

        Good post ! She “earned” nothing , everything rubber stamped and members have no say in the matter !

  3. Fredric M. London

    August 30, 2023 at 7:01 am

    I have always been very pro union, as the working man’s only recourse against the power of management. But seeing these so-called unions spending union dues to force a left-wing oligarchy is a blatant act of tyranny.

  4. Phil

    August 30, 2023 at 8:02 am

    The teacher union should stay out of political policy that is ruining our country and our children in schools. Why are the union presidents making so much money when the teachers are struggling with getting supplies for their classroom. They are being politicized by the president’s policies instead of the parents who are trusting the parents involvement in their child’s education on important teaching.

  5. Shirleg

    August 30, 2023 at 8:21 am

    All involved should be FIRED and do it ASAP

  6. Concerned

    August 30, 2023 at 8:47 am

    This is happens to many organizations ,using moneys trusted to them that most members do not agree with but most are misinformed. The organization has its own personal agenda using members money!

  7. The Rebel

    August 30, 2023 at 9:45 am

    JUST THINK————–unions across this country encouraged their minions to vote for the 50+ year professional lying politician from Delaware who was elected by manipulated voting machines. NOW that he is sleeping in the White House and (at government business meetings), inflation is ruining lives for many Americans——including young teachers with families to care for———–these same unions are NOW encouraging their minions to go ON STRIKE FOR HIGHER WAGES!! Forrest Gump Was right—-STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES !!!!!

  8. Political prisoner

    August 30, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Precisely why I quit the teachers/support union years ago. They donated part our dues to the DEMONrats. As a representative, I tried to get them to donate to Repubs…not in any way, so I quit. I wanted no part of that.

    • The Rebel

      August 30, 2023 at 1:22 pm

      Smart move——————-did the same thing when I found out they only supported Communist candidates. BTW–the federal government DOE should be eliminated immediately. All their paperwork is time consuming crap for teachers and worthless as HELL!!!

  9. Jeremy

    August 30, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” —Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    “Destroy the family, you destroy the country. The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation”. —Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

  10. Jim

    August 30, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    Of course no mention of the billion dollars spent by corporations and folks like the Koch brothers on political activities. Oh I’m sorry only Democrats aren’t allowed to lobby.

    • grrumpa

      September 23, 2023 at 10:00 pm

      The Koch brothers can spend their money as they please since it’s their money. The teachers unions on the other hand are spending money to lobby that is not theirs. It is dues from teachers of all political persuasions, not just progressive democrat. That money should be spent on things that directly impact the teachers such as salaries and working conditions.

  11. Hcatguy

    August 31, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Democrats have a bible called the 1963 Communist manifesto. Rule 17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    It’s a very interesting read. Look up the rest of it, tell me it doesn’t fit Democrats.

  12. Gary

    August 31, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Ashamed how a union that is taking money from it’s members , and supposed to be working in their best interests gets away with allocating their hard earned money to something that has Nothing with advancing their interests ! . Is there any legal rights violated ? , Do the Teachers still have to pay dues if they do not agree with this ? . Will the schools fire them if they do not pay dues ? . I do like those “Ivory Tower” salaries ! , That is more than what the President of the United States makes ! .

  13. Malcolm Stewart

    September 1, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    This sweeping arrogance and so-called “virtue signalling”of the liberals is displayed in every aspect of society, including unions where they have seized control and seem to assume they can act on behalf of the full membership as if all such members share such views : no matter bizarre they are, and how much offence they actually cause.

  14. 5150COYOTE

    September 2, 2023 at 3:52 am

    WHY THE EXTREME PAY FOR DOING NOTHING ??? WHY ARE these two still in office since UNITED STATES IS LIKE 25TH in education ??? most if not ALL BLUE CITY STUDENTS CANT READ ABOUVE THE 7TH GRADE AND A 70% dont pass the 12th grade ???

  15. Sergio Pastor

    September 23, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    We see how unions taking money from teachers to promote socialism and do not see that going Socialist and it’s collapsing, but it seems like a great plan to the bunch of sheep’s USA teachers unions using your membership money!…and I am a Latino DEMOCRAT!!!

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