Watchdog alleges massive misappropriation of member dues, calls for audit of teachers union

Do America’s top teachers’ unions need to be audited as per their habitually bad, politically motivated behavior? Fox News host Jesse Watters and Government Accountability Institute president Peter Schweizer say they do.

Reporting about this issue on Wednesday’s edition of “Jesse Watters Primetime,” the eponymous host noted that much of the money that unions earn from forced donor fees is then forwarded right back into the hands of the Democrat Party.

“These unions bring in millions and millions of dollars in these member fees. Now, that money is supposed to go towards things like school funding and collective bargaining. But guess what the Government Accountability Institute found? … It turns out most of that money is going straight to Democrats,” he said.


Watters then provided examples to back up his claim.

“In 2021, the National Education Association spent 66 million dollars on politics — twice as much as they spent on teachers. … [D]uring the 2020 election, a 100 percent of the 59 million dollars sent to these outside political groups from the NEA and the [American Federation of Teachers] went to leftist causes to support radicals like AOC and Pelosi,”  he said.

“That is a lot of money. Just think of how much money you could spend on iPads. For $59 million dollars on iPads, your public school could look like Harvard,” he added.

The problem, Watters continued, is that teachers’ union bosses like the AFT’s Randy Weingarten only care about Democrat political power, not about children.

“I mean, just look at the test scores. Our kids can’t do math anymore, and they’re behind in reading. So what’s Randy doing about it? Well, when she’s not visiting Ukraine twice in the last year, she’s screaming like a lunatic at Democrat rallies,” the Fox News host noted.

“Randy cares a lot about politics. That’s why she’s traveling all around the country pushing all these same Democrat talking points. … Is it just me or does Randy Weingarten sound like Howard Dean, not an educator? You know, I bet [I know what] she’s not teaching your kids about. She’s probably not teaching our kids to follow the money,” he added.

Watters then invited Schweizer onto the show to offer his take.

“We’ve known for a long time — for decades — that the teachers’ unions tend to be left of center, but what’s happened is they’ve become more and more political and less interested in actually doing what their stated purpose is, which is collective bargaining for teachers. And they’ve moved from being sort of Walter Mondale liberals to being extremely left-wing,” the GAI president said.

“So you’ve got these teachers’ unions, for example, pouring millions of dollars into groups that are pushing for ‘defund the police.’ How does that help education? How does that help teachers? It doesn’t. It makes their lives more difficult. So you’ve really seen the union leadership go off the rails. And I think it’s time for there to be accountability. Members need to start paying attention what the leadership is actually spending the money on,” he added.

Watters responded by saying the way unions handle money “sounds like a left-wing money laundering operation.”

“Because when you think about it, the Democrats get elected and then they send the money to the teachers’ unions, and the teachers’ union send the money back to the Democrats, who then get elected and send the money back to the teachers’ unions, right. Is anybody going to investigate this? Like it’s looking like an audit needs to happen,” he argued.

Indeed, his discussion with Schweizer occurred on the exact same day that Fox News broke a story revealing that the country’s “two largest teachers unions contributed at least $2.25 million to re-elect Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as unions and school choice activists continue to pour money into the race.”

Schweizer continued the discussion by vociferously maintaining that an audit is especially necessary given teachers’ unions’ status as non-profits.

“There absolutely needs to be an audit. … The NEA, for example, is a non-profit like the Government Accountability Institute. When you form a non-profit, you state what your mission/purpose is. That’s the reason you’re giving up tax-exempt status,” he said.

“So the Government Accountability Institute couldn’t decide tomorrow to just do horticulture work for poor people in Peru. That’s not part of our mission/purpose. The NEA’s mission/purpose is collective bargaining for teachers and promoting the good side of public education in America. Well, what they’re spending their money on has nothing to do with the mission/purpose. The IRS ought to be all over,” Schweizer added.

But neither Schweizer nor Watters believes the teachers’ unions will actually be audited under the current Democrat administration.


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