The John Locke Foundation has launched a statewide campaign to encourage teachers to leave the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE).

The Locke Foundation is asking educators to reject the union’s tactics and its outsized influence on public policy decisions.

According to the press release, the “NCAE alleges to speak for nearly 100,000 public school teachers in North Carolina.  Since the NCAE has only about 17,500 members, and membership is dropping dramatically, it is an outrageous claim.”

The press release states, “The NCAE says it represents the views of its members.  Since 1990, the National Education Association, the parent organization of the NCAE, has been the single largest political contributor in the education field.  During that time, nine of every 10 contributions went to Democratic candidates even though a 2017 Education Week Survey found only 41% of teachers identified as Democrat, 30% as Unaffiliated, and 27% as Republican.  That’s pure Democrat politics, not inclusive representation.”

The Locke Foundation notes that the NCAE supported Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the 2019 state budget that included sizable pay raises for teachers and educators.  “That action hurt teachers, yet NCAE prioritized sending a political message to the Republican leadership in the General Assembly over rewarding work in the classroom.”

The Locke press release states, “Professional development offered by the NCAE reflects its commitment to the controversial and divisive tenets of Critical Race Theory. For example, at its May 2021 “One Team, One Goal” virtual professional development learning conference the NCAE Center for Instructional Advocacy offered a workshop titled “Decolonizing Our curriculum and Abolitionist Teaching.”

Dr. Terry Stoops, director the Center for Effective Education at Locke said, “Parents overwhelmingly disapprove of educators who use their classrooms to advance a variety of fashionable left-wing causes.  Yet, NCAE consistently champions partisan politics and social justice activism at the expense of children’s academic and social and emotional needs.  It is a political operation masquerading as an educational support organization.”

Teachers are not required to join the NCAE and those who have joined can opt out for the upcoming school year if they do so by Sept. 30.  The dues for teachers in Guilford County are reportedly $559 a year.