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Teachers Keep Majority on NEA Committees, Once Again


NEA delegates narrowly defeated a constitutional amendment that would have removed a rule requiring all NEA committees to be staffed by 75 percent classroom teachers.

The vote was 64 percent in favor to 36 percent, but it needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

The requirement dates to the late 1960s and '70s, when teachers made up 85 percent of the union but administrators still held most of the senior positions.

But over the last 40 years, the percentage of the union made up of classroom teachers has declined as other constituencies have increased, such as education support personnel. The 75 percent requirement can be constraining for them. And it's also a potential problem, as I wrote last year, if the union decides to expand the types of groups it wants to organize.

Proposals to decrease the percentage requirement or delete the clause altogether have been advanced for several years, and the votes have gradually gotten closer and closer. But the delegates aren't quite ready to give up this protection yet.

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