The National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, says the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), a conservative Republican political organization.
Under new federal rules, large unions must now disclose in much more detail how they spend members' dues. The NEA's recent filings -- the first under the new rules -- expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students, says the NFRA.
Indeed, the NEA's top brass lives large:
* Reg Weaver, the union's president, makes $439,000 a year.
* The NEA has a $58 million payroll for just over 600 employees, more than half of whom draw six-figure salaries.
* Last year the average teacher made only $48,000.
Many of the organization's disbursements at least target groups that ostensibly have a direct educational mission. But many others are a stretch, says the NFRA.