Why is Maryland’s largest teachers union spending millions on travel expenses? Project Baltimore recently reported that the Maryland State Education Association’s travel expenditures averaged $53,736 per month over the last decade. 

The union’s federal tax filings revealed expenditures of $509,013 on travel in 2022. An additional $35,010 was spent on “conferences, conventions, and meetings.” Travel expenses have fluctuated over the years, but continued even when schools were closed:

  • 2013: $543,214 
  • 2016: $1,100,000 
  • During COVID years: “the union still managed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel as most schools were shut down.”
  • 2022: $509,013 
  • Total over the last decade: $6,448,327

The Maryland teachers union claims its mission is to “elevate the quality of public education for all students” and “create great public schools for every child in Maryland,” but student performance is plummeting in Maryland. The majority of the state’s students are not proficient in math or reading. In response to Maryland’s 2022 NAEP scores, Maryland Schools Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury said, “There is no sugar-coating these results. Maryland has been experiencing a downward trend since 2013, and a return to normal is not good enough.” 

The union paid 11 employees more than $200,000 last year in total compensation, so the frequent travel is accompanied by a comfortable income. To learn more about how unions spend their members’ dues, read Elisabeth Messenger: Where Do Your Union Dues Go?Taxpayer-Funded Union Dues: California’s Toxic Idea Is Spreading, and Paul Zimmerman: Exposing The Teachers Unions.

For more information about teachers unions and school choice, visit www.iwf.org/issues/education/