RALEIGH – The group behind most of the education agitation, teacher walk outs, and demands for Medicaid expansion, the North Carolina Association of Educators, purports to represent public teachers as a group as they clamor to push the Left’s agenda in education and beyond. With 100,000 teachers across the Old North State, and the exponent of those sympathetic to the apparent perspective of teachers, that becomes a political force unto itself. We’ve seen that force drive the narrative for years now, with Democrats leveraging the NCAE to decry teachers’ fortunes and Republicans making regular teacher raises as visible as possible.
But what if the NCAE, who undeniably leans hard to the Left and associates with or is latched onto by radical Leftist movements, didn’t actually represent the majority of teachers, much less all their political views? Of course, we know they don’t, but the hard numbers prove just how increasingly unpopular the NCAE is among teachers in this state.
From Bob Luebke of the Civitas Institute:
“Despite leading high-profile teacher rallies in Raleigh the last two years, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) continues to lose members. The latest membership numbers, published earlier this week by veteran teacher union watcher Mike Antonucci, found NCAE had 28,725 total members in 2017-18, a decline of 6 percent from the previous year.
Over the past five years NCAE total membership has fallen 33.5 percent. How bad is the decline? The only other state to experience a greater percentage decline over the same time period was New Hampshire (47.4 percent). […]”
NCAE membership is shrinking, and fast, as teachers cancel their membership in droves. It’s anyone’s guess why teachers are leaving, but it’s reasonable to assume that the extremely political nature of the NCAE rubs a lot of teachers the wrong way. Of the approximately 100,000 teachers, barley more than a quarter of them are members of this de facto union, yet they push their Leftist agenda in the name of all teachers in North Carolina.
As Luebke also points out, these spiraling numbers have left the group way under the threshold to receive certain state benefits, like the state government providing their automatic dues payroll deduction services.
Why is the NCAE still getting this taxpayer supported service if they don’t even meet the requirements? Probably because officials believe, or are too scared to contest, that the NCAE represents all teachers. It clearly does not, and we should all be cognizant of that the next time the NCAE holds a press conference to blast Republicans or organizes a rally to reelect Democrats.