The Taxpayer-Funded Political Machine

The NJEA is a taxpayer-funded special interest.  The NJEA rigged the system so that over a hundred million of property tax dollars go directly to the NJEA every year without teachers ever seeing the money.  The NJEA then spends most of this money on politics at both the state and local levels. The modern NJEA is a political machine. Its Executive Office is dominated by political operatives and almost all its activities involve political action.  In politics, money is power, and the NJEA has more money than any other group. This taxpayer-funded special interest is now the most powerful political force in the state.

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Research Reports

NJEA New Jersey's political machine

NJEA: New Jersey’s Political Machine

The modern New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is a taxpayer-funded political machine. Political organizing infuses the organization from top to bottom.

At the top, the NJEA Executive Office is now run by political operators: three-quarters of the Executive Office are political organizers. Almost all of the headquarters staff are engaged in some form of political activity. Even the human resources manager and the professional development staff have political roles to play.


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NJEA: The Taxpayer-Funded Special Interest

How has the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) – a private, special interest – become the most powerful political force in the state?

By rigging the system to secure annual, automatic taxpayer funding. Since 1994, over $2.1 billion in taxpayer funding, reaching a record $129 million in 2018.

Decades ago, the NJEA used it political clout to lobby lawmakers to construct a funding system that guaranteed the annual flow of tens of millions of property tax dollars directly into its coffers. School districts collect the property taxes that pay teacher salaries and then withhold the teachers’ dues from their paychecks. Over 80 percent of these dues flow up to the NJEA. School districts and teachers are thus rendered mere pass-throughs for property tax dollars to flow directly into the NJEA’s treasury. The teachers never see the money.


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