The Network for Public Education’s (Union-funded) Friends

Turns out NPE’s “grassroots” network is fertilized with lots of money from AFT & NEA – much like NPE itself.

The self-described mission of the Network for Public Education, the anti-education reform organization founded by Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris, centers on “building alliances with grassroots groups across the nation” that oppose all the usual boogeymen: standardized testing, charter schools, school and district accountability, teacher evaluation, etc.

Who exactly are the groups in NPE’s coalition? To find out, I took a look at the national organizations listed in their May 2019 Grassroots Education Newsletter.

As I illustrate in the graphic below (click it to get a closer look), nearly all of the organizations highlighted in the newsletter have received funding from either the American Federation of Teachers and/or National Education Association, according to the unions’ annual financial disclosures to the U.S. Department of Labor.

NPE’s national “grassroots organizing” partners primarily consist of groups that receive teachers union funding.

Taken together, the national organizing partners listed in NPE’s newsletter have received over $2.36 million from AFT and NEA since 2013.

So much for being “grassroots” organizations.

At the same time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these groups have financial ties to the teachers unions since NPE feeds from the same trough. Tax filings show that the Network for Public Education has received $340,000 from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, which has $53 million in assets and is directly controlled by CTU. Plus, AFT and NEA have steered an additional $95,000 to NPE since 2015.

In other words, in spite of NPE’s insistence otherwise, it’s little more than a front for the teachers unions.

What a joke.

Written by Peter Cook

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.


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