Alabama Republicans Ban Woke Teachers’ Union Campaign Donations
Conservatives in the Yellowhammer State are banning woke teachers’ unions from donating to candidates in school-related elections. The Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) recently voted to bar county and state school board and superintendent candidates from accepting donations from the National Education Association (NEA) and the Alabama Education Association (AEA), the state affiliate of the NEA.
ALGOP chairman John Wahl said, “The Alabama Republican Party is leading the charge to decrease the influence of the NEA and their associate groups over school systems. … There is a leftist agenda that is coming out of these groups and the National Department of Education that is very concerning to parents across the country.”
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, concurred. “Where the AEA seems to be missing the point is realizing that they are no longer viewed as a nonpartisan group for teachers,” she told The Washington Stand. “Even if 72% of the membership in Alabama is conservative, I’d bet a far smaller percentage of the policy documents and programs they offer or pursue are conservative by any analysis.”
The NEA and its state affiliates are known for endorsing leftist school board members and school district superintendents, as well as educational policies such as critical race theory (CRT) and LGBT programs that critics say are rooted in Marxism. As recently as last month, the NEA put pornographic LGBT books on its recommended reading list, including the controversial “Gender Queer,” which features narration and illustration of homosexual acts, pederasty, and sex toys. The NEA has also lobbied to keep the book and others like it on school library shelves where children have access to the sexually explicit content.
In 2022, the NEA donated nearly $3 million to Democrats and less than $25,000 to Republicans, while the AEA only donated to Democrats. According to the Government Accountability Institute, the majority of spending from the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) over the past two decades has shifted from union representation initiatives like collective bargaining and school development to lobbying and political campaigns. For example, the NEA only spent $32 million on its dues-paying members in 2021 but funneled over $66 million on political campaigns and candidates — almost all of whom were Democrats.
“The problem with teachers unions is not primarily that they advocate for bad policies that are harmful to children, though they do, but that in most states the law requires teachers to give money to the teachers unions,” Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, told TWS. “Everyone has a right to express their opinion and advocate for their preferred candidates, but no one should have the right to demand money from someone else to be used for political purposes, which is exactly what teachers unions have been doing for generations.”
The ALGOP policy change follows Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) ordering the state’s Department of Early Childhood Education secretary to resign over promoting a teachers’ guide containing CRT and LGBT content. In fact, conservatives across the nation have been gaining ground in the fight for their children’s education, Backholm noted.
“Broadly, parents have become aware that the government education system shouldn’t be automatically trusted and increasingly parents are concluding its best to be inherently suspicious,” he observed. “There is nothing parents care about more than the well-being of their children, and many parents now see schools as a threat to their children. That’s why there are so many parents engaged in the education system that haven’t always been. Of course, this is a good thing. Parents are the ones primarily responsible for the training, education, and discipleship of their children.”
Some of those recent conservative victories include a Virginia school district replacing LGBT books with children’s books on American history and the Constitution, school districts in California informing parents when students use pronouns or bathrooms that don’t correspond to their biological sexes, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) mandating similar policies in his state, parents in Maryland standing up against LGBT propaganda in their schools, a Utah school district reinstating the Bible to school library shelves after leftist complaints labeled the Good Book violent and profane, Boston middle schoolers protesting their school’s Pride Day, state attorneys general backing parents suing schools over transgender indoctrination policies, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signing bills into law to defund woke education initiatives in Sunshine State schools.
Many of these conservative and parents’ rights victories were opposed by the NEA. “ALGOP is not going along with the fiction that AEA or NEA is neutral or nonpartisan,” Kilgannon concluded. “Good for them.”
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.