The National Educational Association
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036-3290
3 million members
AFL-CIO– NEA and AFL-CIO entered into a “solidarity partnership” in 2009, but NEA is not an official member of the AFL-CIO.
Democracy Day works in partnership with Rock the Vote to inform students about voting.
Solar Decathlon is an international competition that brings teachers and students a range of educational opportunities for exploring how the sun can power their world.
Coalition for Green Schools is NEA’s advancement of green initiatives by members, students, policy makers, and communities for the benefit of environmental health and student achievement.
Civics Education – This program aims to revive civics education in the public schools.
Mom Congress – Mom Congress is a way to extend parental involvement from the classroom to an online community.
American Federation of Teachers– NEA and the AFT, formed the NEA-AFT Partnership out of a commitment by both organizations to work together on behalf of their members and on behalf of all those whom their members serve.
Healthy Habits Program– NEA has partnered with the National PTA and Lysol to help reduce school absenteeism by elevating the education of health and hygiene to students both in the classroom and at home.
The NEA has multiple governing bodies. They include:
Representative Assembly-The Representative Assembly has jurisdiction over the seating of its delegates. Election to the Board of Directors by the Active NEA members within the state also constitutes election to the Representative Assembly. The Representative Assembly is responsible for establishing Association policies and objectives electing chief officials, adopting the budget, and amending the constitution when deemed necessary.
Board of Directors– The Board consists of at least one director from each association affiliated with the Association as a state affiliate, six directors for the Retired members of the Association, and three directors for the Student members of the Association. The Board acts for the Association between meetings of the Representative Assembly and is responsible for matters expressly delegated to it by the Representative Assembly.
Executive Committee– The Executive Committee consists of the three executive officers and six members who are officers of the Association. The Executive Committee acts for the Association between meetings of the Board of Directors and in addition has the sole responsibility for any matter expressly delegated to it by the Representative Assembly and/or the Board of Directors.
Review Board- The Review Board holds the judicial powers of the Association. The Review Board is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors.
The NEA also has state affiliates in every state. In general, state executive directors are very important relative to state elected officials.
The NEA/AFL-CIO Labor Solidarity Partnership was established in February 2006 with the support and involvement of the AFT. It offers interested NEA locals the opportunity to affiliate with the AFL-CIO at the local, state, and national levels to seek AFL-CIO affiliation as a DANL (Directly Affiliated NEA Local).
Higher Education Faculty and Staff
Dennis Van Roekel, President
Dennis Van Roekel is president of the National Education Association. In 2010, he established the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, a national, independent panel that examined policies and practices governing the teaching profession.
He has testified before Congress on ESEA reauthorization and federal education policy and serves as vice president of Education International for North America and the Caribbean. He also serves on leading boards, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Executive Committee and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Executive Board.
Lily Eskelsen, Vice President
Lily Eskelsen is an elementary teacher from Utah. She began her career in education as a lunch worker in a school cafeteria. She became a kindergarten aide and was encouraged by the teacher to think about going to college and becoming a teacher herself. She worked her way through the University of Utah on scholarships, student loans, graduating magna cum laude in elementary education and later earning her master’s degree in instructional technology.
She has also served as president of the Utah State Retirement System, president of the Children at Risk Foundation, a member of the Utah LaRaza Education Committee, and as a member of the White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education. In 1998, she was the first Hispanic to be chosen as her party’s nominee for U.S. Congress in Utah, raising close to $1 million and taking 45 percent of the vote against the incumbent.
Rebecca Pringle, Secretary-Treasurer
Rebecca “Becky” Pringle is a physical science teacher from Harrisburg, PA. She previously served as a member of NEA’s nine-member Executive Committee from 2001 to 2007.
A middle school teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, Pringle has held Association positions at the local, state, and national levels, including the Pennsylvania State Education Association and NEA Board of Directors. Most recently she served as a teacher on special assignment working with the Susquehanna Township (PA) School District Closing the Achievement Gaps initiative and PSEA’s Minority Community Outreach program.
John C. Stocks, Executive Director
John C. Stocks, Deputy Executive Director from 2004-2011, is now the Executive Director of the National Education Association. Stocks oversees the day to day operations of the Association.
From 1990-2004, Stocks served as assistant executive director for public affairs at the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), with oversight for the 98,000-member Association’s public relations, legislative, political action, and teaching and learning departments.
Prior to joining WEAC, he served as executive director of Idaho Fair Share, a grassroots citizen action organization dedicated to keeping utility rates affordable for working families, and spearheaded legislation on behalf of low and moderate income utility ratepayers.
In 1988, Stocks ran for State Senate in Idaho, defeating a four-term incumbent. His legislative record includes successfully shepherding a bill to improve protections for people facing foreclosure on their homes due to family medical crises.
Carolyn Breedlove is the manager of NEA’s green initiatives program.
In 2008, the NEA convention passed a resolution entitled “I-8. Global Climate Change. The resolution states, “The Association believes that humans must take steps to change activities that contribute to global climate change.” Since then, the union has progressed to supporting legislation that encompasses climate change and the environment. NEA has also developed a large body of educational materials for teaching sustainability and climate change to students of all ages.
To combat the human degradation of the environment, the NEA has taken on what it calls a “collaborative approach. The union has partnered with the Earth Day Network, Earth Echo International, EcoSchools, National Audobon Society, National Environmental Education Foundation, National Wildlife Foundation, North American Association for Environmental Education, Will Steger Foundation, and the US Green Building Council. Green schools and environmental literacy are also supported by the NEA through its Green Grants programs and its Indoor Environmental Quality programs.
While other unions have been reluctant to acknowledge the environment, NEA lists Green Schools and Environmental Education as key issues of concern. “We’re telling our kids that they’re not worth very much when we put them in situations where they get sick,” explains Carolyn Breedlove of NEA’s External Partnerships and Advocacy and longtime advocate of sustainability. Breedlove believes “green schools make a big difference in the health of the environment, which makes a big difference to our kids.”
In addition to encouraging teachers to explain global warming and climate change, the union has also created a large body of resources for teachers to draw from. This set of ready-made curricula provides opportunities for awareness raising and experiential learning. For example, one such lesson connects solar power and math in lesson plan. At an 8th grade level, students can learn how photovoltaic solar panel systems work. The NEA is also a supporter of the Solar Decathalon, an “award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.” One of the main themes of the organization is to equip teachers to create a new “generation who cares.” The stated goal is to “raise a generation of “sustainability natives” and to instill…a sense of stewardship that their grandparents and great-grandparents once shared.”
In late 2010, the NEA co-sponsored the “Environmental Literacy for a Sustainable World” summit, a venue for educators, scientists, and policy professionals to discuss climate change and environmental literacy. The summit “aimed to generate ideas and collaboration and to lay out a specific plan for developing a green workforce and society.” According to NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle, “NEA believes that we all have a responsibility to the environment and must take steps to stop doing things that contribute to global climate change and its effects… We all came away [from the summit] committed to working together even more closely as we build an environment that is healthy and sustainable.”
The NEA also supports the following legislation related to the environment:
- The No Child Left Inside Act of 2009 (S. 866) (110th S. 1981), introduced by Senator Reed (D-RI) would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to offer state grants to develop environmental literacy plans for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 that include environmental education standards, teacher training, and the development of more rigorous environmental education curricula. The Act would authorize the Secretary to award competitive matching grants to partnerships to improve and support environmental education by advancing content and achievement standards, developing or disseminating innovations or model programs, and conducting research. [The companion measure is H.R. 2054 by Representative Sarbanes (D-MD).] See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 866.
- The After School Partnerships Improve Results in Education (ASPIRE) Act (S. 2785) (see 110th H.R. 6928), introduced by Senator Lincoln (D-AR) would direct the Secretary of Education to award competitive matching grants to partnerships, composed of a state or local educational agency (LEA) and at least one college or nonprofit, community, tribal, business, labor, or career technical student organization, for the development of national model afterschool interdisciplinary education programs for secondary school students. The bill would prioritize programs targeting a high percentage of impoverished, struggling, or rural students and their families. Programs must include (1) at least one activity in mathematics and science education, language arts, writing, and reading, or history, geography, or social studies; and (2) at least one activity involving career technical education, business and entrepreneurial education, health and wellness, the environment and conservation, or arts and music education. See if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 2785.
- Green Schools Act (H.R. 58), introduced by Representative Kirk (R-IL) would provide local educational agencies with federal grants and low-interest financing options to fund environmentally friendly school construction and improvement projects. The measure would create a new Environmental Protection Agency grant program to award matching grants to local educational agencies for construction and modernization projects that reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources and promote healthy indoor environments. The bill would reauthorize the Qualified Zone Academy Bond program, allowing low-income communities to issue federal tax credit bonds to finance school improvement projects until 2013. The measure would stipulate that school improvement projects that do not reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources or promote healthy indoor environments would not be eligible for Qualified Zone Academy Bond financing. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 58.
- School Building Enhancement Act (H.R. 579), introduced by Representative Holt (D-NJ) would provide for grants from the Secretary of Education to state and local educational agencies for EnergySmart schools and Energy Star programs. See if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 579.
Green Employment Prospects
The NEA believes that Greening Schools will create jobs. According to the 21st Century School Fund, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CPBB), “an initial $50 billion school renovation program would employ 500,000 workers — a third of the 1.5 million construction workers now unemployed — and could be scaled up.”
Further Comments or Analysis
The NEA’s emphasis on “green schools” provides a direct way to connect members’ self-interest in jobs and a healthy work environment with climate protection.
More generally, the NEA justifies the provision of resources for education on the grounds that it is essential for a viable future. It defines its mission as “to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.” This mission can be connected with a broader orientation toward sustainability that includes social and economic as well as environmental dimensions.
Appendix 1: Executive Committee
|Greg JohnsonGreg Johnson, a high school choir director from Mustang, Okla., was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2012 for a three-year term.|
|Christy LevingsChristy Levings, an elementary school teacher from rural Osawatomie, Kan., was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2010 for a three-year term.|
|Paula MonroePaula Monroe, a high school secretary in Redlands, Calif., was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2010 for a three-year term.|
|Princess MossPrincess Moss, an elementary school music teacher in Louisa County, Va., was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2011 for a three-year term.|
|Joyce PowellJoyce Powell, a special education schoolteacher from Vineland, N.J., was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2012 for a three-year term.|
|Earl WimanEarl Wiman, a former kindergarten teacher, principal and media specialist now on special assignment for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, was elected to the National Education Association’s Executive Committee in July 2011 for a three-year term.|
Appendix 2: Board of Directors
- Alabama: Susan Brown, Sheila Hocutt-Remington, Ashley Strickland, Sherry Tucker
- Alaska: Timothy Parker
- Arizona: Estevan Carreon, Jason Freed
- Arkansas: Barbara Davidson
- California: Elizabeth Ahlgren, Gilda M. Bloom-Leiva, Greg Bonacorsi, Colleen Briner-Schmidt, Sue Cirillo, Ron Edwards, Gerri Gandolfo, Karl Kildow, Sonia Martin-Solis, Sergio Martinez, Doreen McGyuire-Grigg, Claire Merced, Eric Padgett, Robert Rodriguez, George Sheridan, KC Walsh
- Colorado: Greg Grote, Lawrence Garcia
- Connecticut: Kathleen Flaherty
- Delaware: Mary Jo Faust
- District of Columbia: Lisa T. Moon
- Federal Education Association: Brian Chance
- Florida: Calvin Collins, Melondia Corpus, Kathi Gundlach, George Williams
- Georgia: Patrick Crabtree, Jr., Doris Glover
- Hawaii: Fran Bellinger
- Idaho: Kari Overall
- Illinois: Joyce Bailey, Eric Brown, Jim Grimes, Rainy Kaplan, Vickie Mahrt, Tom Tulley, Alex Wallace
- Indiana: Cindy Miller, Alene Smith, Nancy J. Wright
- Iowa: Ray Feuss, Kathy Williams
- Kansas: Kimberly Howard, Bob Thesman
- Kentucky: Eddie Campbell, Kandie McDaniel
- Louisiana: Joycelyn Olivier
- Maine: Claire D. Bailey, Michael Thurston
- Maryland: Gary Brennan, Steven Brooks, Michael A. Davis, Mavis Ellis
- Massachusetts: Tiffany Back, Catherine Boudreau, Erik Champy, Diane B. Marcus, Robert Travers, Jr.
- Michigan: Frank Burger, Andrew Campbell, Paula Herbart, Sidney Kardon, Maury Koffman, Eric Minore
- Minnesota: Joe Cerar, Kimberly Colbert, Steve Hinrichs
- Mississippi: Erica Webber-Jones
- Missouri: Philip Murray, Julia Todd
- Montana: Melanie Charlson
- Nebraska: Jenni Absalon, John Heineman
- Nevada: Natha Anderson, Margaret Bean
- New Hampshire: Bonnie Doherty
- New Jersey: Beverly Figlioli, Toni Guerra, Robin Holcombe, Michael Kruczek, Andrew Policastro, Laurie Schorno, Eric Stinson, Michele Yakopcic, Lois Yukna
- New Mexico: Geraldine Franco
- New York: Lola Kelly, Andrew Sako
- North Carolina: William Jeffers, Kristy MooreDawn, Shephard Pope
- North Dakota: Alicia Bata
- Ohio: Mary Binegar, Dale Kain, Andre Taylor, Janifer Trowles, Gretchen Washington
- Oklahoma: Lori Burris, Patti Ferguson-Palmer
- Oregon: John Larson, Margarett Peoples, Jamie Zartler
- Pennsylvania: Maggie Beall, Grace Bekaert, Richard Bioteau, Marsha Fabian, Jolene Hough, Kizzy L. Nicholas, Teresa Redwinski, Melvin Riddick
- Rhode Island: Marianne Lowe
- South Carolina: Ronnie Ray James
- South Dakota: Mary McCorkle
- Tennessee: Melanie Buchanan, Diane Lillard, Diccie Smith
- Texas: Evelina Loya, Rae Nwosu, Frances Smith
- Utah: Ryan Anderson, Linda Sue Dickey
- Vermont: Eric Weiss
- Virginia: Kellie Blair Hardt, Lee Dorman, Sarah Patton
- Washington: Kimberlee Mead, Stephen Miller, Mike Ragan, Ted Raihl
- West Virginia: Tom Fletcher
- Wisconsin: Scott Ellingson, Lynn Goss, Britt Hall, Jeffery Johnson, Marie Knutson
- Wyoming: Amy Simpson
- Student Directors: Renatae Cuffee, Caryce Gilmore, Joshua Watson
- Retired Directors: Monica Beaudoin, John Campbell, Barbara Cunningham, Stephen Gorrie, Sid Johnson, Daniel Rudd
- At-Large Directors: Arlene Braden, Leslie Dake, Marquerite Jones, Catherine Leisek, Rebecca Marks, Jim McClure, Pam Mikkelson, Donna Mirabelli, Judy Near, Donna Nielsen, Lisa Ossian, Jameel Williams, Ruthie Wright
- Non-Voting At-Large Directors: Mary Clair, Jacqui Greadington, Debbie Hogue-Downing, Richard Lum
- Honorary: John Lucas