By Guy Page
Even the most basic information about policy initiatives before the National Education Association Representative Assembly in Chicago this week is being kept hidden from the general public and the media. In a significant departure from years’ past, only delegates may view on the NEA’s own website the proposed initiatives facing “the world’s largest democratic deliberative assembly.”
Vermonters might well ask, so what? Why does this matter?
It matters because during the pandemic it became clear that what teachers demanded, they often got. Mandatory masking. Remote learning. CRT-based diversity and equity hiring and teaching. And of course and as usual, plenty of public funding and zero action on real school choice.
When the NEA coughs, Vermont schoolchildren catch a cold.
But thanks to a Tweet by someone named Terry Stoops, interested Vermonters have a front row seat. As these tweets show, the NEA will be voting on proposals to:
“Publicly stand in defense of abortion and reproductive rights and encourage members to participate in activities including lobbying and demonstration, rallying and political campaigns, educational events, and others actions to support the right to abortion, contraception, and a person’s decision about their health.” (New Business Initiative #34)
Presumably the “decision” they’re talking about is transgender therapy without parental consent. It’s certainly not about the personal choice to become vaccinated. The NEA’s already got that one covered in NBI #37:
“The NEA will work with state affiliates to support a national policy of mandatory masking and COVID vaccines in schools, as well as high-quality virtual education for immuno-compromised students and all families who want it by publicizing successful virtual education programs in public schools throughout the nation in existing media outlets.”
There’s plenty more. #53 would overturn the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, waging war on “the intersectionality of climate justice and environmental racism.”
Neither the NEA nor Stoops have yet to disclose whether or how the RA votes on these measures. It’s possible that when the annual meeting adjourns today, they will have been voted down or tabled.
This fall, political candidates will be thumping the tub for all kinds of education-related initiatives. Vermonters at least deserve to know where these ideas came from. In the case of educational policies of mandatory masking, vaccination, and aggressive support for abortion rights, the answer may well be, “Chicago.”