Sunlight finally obtained the NJEA’s 2018 IRS Form 990, which now gives us a consecutive set of recent returns. One section of the Form 990 provides information on all the NJEA’s grants to outside organizations, including charitable grants as well as those to its Super PAC, Garden State Forward. As can be seen in the chart below, since 2012, the NJEA has poured more and more money into Garden State Forward and less into charitable grants. Indeed, in two most recent years (2019, 2020), Garden State Forward received 82% of all the NJEA’s grants: quite a change from the 48% of 2012. All told, the NJEA spent an astounding $58.6 million on Garden State Forward.
All of which underscores how the modern NJEA has increasingly prioritized politics over other aspects of the organization’s activity.
We can also update the NJEA’s funding for its three most important allies for 2012-20:
- Education Law Center – $5.45 million for the so-called “legal arm” of the NJEA.
- New Jersey Working Families Alliance – $1.32 million: $975,500 in grants and $339,000 that the NJEA has paid NJWFA to get out the vote for the NJEA’s preferred candidates.
- New Jersey Policy Perspective – $1.25 million to the NJEA’s favorite policy think-tank that’s always ready with some NJEA-friendly “research” or legislative testimony.
So when you see ELC, NJWFA, or NJPP in action, know that there are millions of NJEA dollars behind them.
ALL of this is funded by New Jersey teachers’ automatically withheld, highest-in-the-nation dues, regardless of whether they want their dues spent on politics. And teachers are paid with tax dollars, so ultimately it is New Jersey taxpayers who are paying for this. A rigged system, plain and simple.
The NJEA: New Jersey’s teacher- and taxpayer-funded political machine.