Author: bdegrow // Category: Political Contributions
The final reports are in for political contributions for 2008. The Colorado Education Association (CEA) and its affiliates narrowly topped one million dollars in giving to political candidates and parties.
Here are the details:
The Colorado Education Association (CEA) and its affiliates, mostly through Every Member Option funds, have reported $1,000,585 in political contributions during the 2007-08 election cycle – including:
* $452,360 to Democratic candidates and party organizations
* $263,500 to the 527 group Accountability for Colorado to support political candidates — Accountability for Colorado is also funded by liberal billionaires from the “Gang of Four”
* $210,000 to the 527 group Colorado Citizens’ Coalition to support “progressive” political candidates
* $9,250 to Republican candidates and party organizations — that’s 1 dollar to Republicans for every 49 dollars to Democrats
Note: This does not include $4,657,810 contributed to the issue committee Protect Colorado’s Future and $1,600,000 to the issue committee Coloradans for Middle Class Relief to oppose three Colorado state ballot initiatives.
And for AFT:
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Colorado has reported $60,275 in political contributions during the current election cycle – including $40,275 to Democratic candidates and party organizations and $0 to Republicans.
As usual, other membership groups that Colorado teachers are eligible to join did not spend any money on the 2008 election because they do not sponsor any committees to fund political action:
That closes the book on the 2008 election cycle and the roles of different Colorado teacher organizations. Where did your money go this past year?
Denver Public Schools (DPS) teachers and other education employees may join the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) or any other membership organization at any time. However, employees who currently have membership dues deducted to the DCTA (and by extension, CEA and NEA) may only cancel the automatic deduction between November 1 and November 15.
This policy is set by the terms of the negotiated master agreement between DPS and DCTA (PDF) – from Article 23:
At any time, employees in the bargaining unit wishing to become members of the Association may authorize such deduction by filing with the District through the office of the Association, a signed and dated Denver Classroom Teachers Association Salary Deduction Authorization Form authorizing the District to deduct from their monthly earnings and to remit to the Treasurer of the Association, an amount equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the dues required for membership in the organization or organizations specified in Article 23-2 above.
Such form shall include a waiver of all right and claim against the Board, the District, and the officers and agents thereof, for moneys deducted and remitted in accordance with said authorization; and an agreement that such deductions and remittances shall continue from year to year, as so authorized, unless teachers notify the District through the Association office and on an appropriate form, that they desire to discontinue or to change such authorization. It will be possible to revoke the dues deductions only during November 1 through November 15 of each school year. Only Association revocation forms will be honored by the District. Once a revocation form has been signed and properly processed, no further action is necessary on the part of the employee to terminate deduction of the membership dues. [emphasis added]
Denver teachers and other employees who wish to sign up or to revoke membership may obtain the appropriate form by contacting DCTA at:
Office Phone: 303-831-0590
Office Email: DCTA@nea.org
Below is contact information for Colorado public school employees’ other membership options (click on any email link to send):
Denver education officials recently averted a strike by the local teachers union, which had made veiled threats of a walkout during the tense standoff. But in a letter published in the Rocky Mountain News yesterday, Dr. Kris Enright – the leader of another organization teachers in Colorado can join – advocated for a different approach:
The Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE) believes that strikes and boycotts are detrimental to students and to the reputation of teachers as professionals. While we do not provide “envelopes of cash.to buy doughnuts for teachers passing out fliers,” we do provide advocacy, protection, and professional development resources (i.e., scholarships, classroom mini-grants, partnerships, and sponsorships). We actively support a variety of personal professional development and educational advancement initiatives which will improve teachers’ skills, their knowledge, and ultimately their profession. Such should be the primary purposes of an educator association.
Education is indeed a calling. However, professionalism is a choice.
Therefore, we applaud DPS professional educators. We encourage them to remember why they teach and hope they choose to “focus on the kids.” After all, the behavior of one teacher or a group of teachers reflects upon us all.
To be fair, Colorado’s teachers unions also provide legal protection and some avenues for professional development. But it’s a much smaller piece of what they do. PACE has a narrower focus and much smaller dues because it does not participate in collective bargaining or political campaigns.