Thanks to the sleuthing of the Education Intelligence Agency, we now know for certain that the NJEA’s member dues are the highest in the nation – by a long shot. For the 2020-21 school year, EIA reports that NJ teachers paid $979 in dues, an eye-popping 28% higher than second-place Alaska.
Here are the 2020-21 top ten:
In our previous report, “New Jersey Teachers’ Dues: Why Are They the Highest in the Nation and What Are They Paying For?” we used revenue-per-member to show that in 2017-18 New Jersey teachers paid more into their state union (the NJEA) than teachers in any other state – again by far (21%). The NJEA was also tops in 2013-14, so NJ teachers have paid the most for a long time.
Current NJEA dues are $991, so NJ teachers are paying yet more. And remember that while the NJEA takes a larger proportion of total teachers’ dues than any other state union (70%), teachers also must pay National Education Association dues (15%), county association dues (3%) and local association dues (12%). So the total amount of dues teachers pay annually is up in the $1,400-1,500 range.
That’s a great deal of money for a teacher making $70,000 per year. If only teachers knew they actually have a choice: that the Supreme Court ruled that their First Amendment rights mean that they do not have to join the union and pay $1,400 every year.
Sunlight believes that if NJ teachers knew they had a choice, like teachers in Wisconsin, Michigan and other states, many of them would choose not to be members and not pay $1,400 per year.