Teachers union watchdog Mike Antoucci has just posted the Financial Status of all 52 National Education Association (NEA) state affiliates. Among the highlights:

  • Even without accounting for the income of some 13,000 local affiliates, NEA took in almost $1.6 billion in dues and other income.
  • Revenue was down in most affiliates due to falling membership, but many were able to run significant budget surpluses by reducing expenditures – mostly personnel costs.
  • 18 affiliates operated in the red during the 2012-13 school year.
  • Despite various forms of staff pension relief, nine affiliates have negative net worth

The second highlight really caught my eye. Let’s recall that firing a bad teacher is virtually impossible, and unions oppose any sort of tenure reform because they insist it would weaken teacher job security. And, of course, we couldn’t expect teachers to contribute toward their own retirement funds.

How ironic, then, that many of the more than 40 NEA affiliates that saw membership decline made up dues revenue shortfalls by reducing personnel costs. I wonder how they did that?