The NEA hosts its Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in Washington, DC from June 27 through July 5. It is expected around 9,000 educators will gather there to discuss and vote on key issues in education. Its theme is NEA: We Educate America.
It will be the National Education Association’s 150th such Annual Meeting and the 91st such Representative Assembly.
The RA, the top decision-making body for the more than three million member NEA, sets Association policy for the coming year. Delegates adopt the strategic plan and budget, resolutions, the legislative program, and other policies of the Association, and they vote by secret ballot on proposed amendments to the NEA’s Constitution and Bylaws.
In light of the troubling year for education unions, it is likely much time will be spent discussing how to combat or react to the general shift in education policy throughout the nation that is largely favoring moves towards charter schools and fewer restrictions on schools such as those imposed by traditional collective bargaining agreements.
Among planned activities is the annual Outreach to Teach event on Wednesday June 27 which run from 8am to 4pm at Thomas Johnson Middle School. This program started in 1996 as a way to give back to the city hosting the NEA meeting. This year more than 300 student and retired NEA members will be spending the day sprucing up the school.
On Sunday July 1 will be the 2012 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner starting at 6:30pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
On Monday July 2 NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will open the four day RA.
Tuesday July 3, NEA will bestow the America’s Greatest Education Governor on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.
The NEA is the nation’s largest professional employee organization. It represents more than 3 million elementary, secondary and higher education teachers and administrators.
They have recently suffered a string of setbacks with widespread neutering of their power, including blows to collective bargaining agreements and reduction in pension provisions. Membership is steadily declining and the projected membership for 2013-14 is the lowest since 1999-2000. The failed recall of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin is seen as a major blow to the NEA and heralding the terminal decline of its influence.
Much of the NEA conference is expected by outsiders to revolve around how to implement their planned reorganization and focus on a new Core Function.