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


So the NJEA outsources GOTV and forces teachers to pay for it.

Almost none of today’s teachers give to NJEA PAC and few participate in NJEA efforts to get out the vote in support of NJEA-endorsed candidates.  So the NJEA has outsourced GOTV to outside vendors – most from out of state.

As a result, NJEA political action increasingly reflects the agenda of NJEA leadership, not the will of teachers.

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It sure looks like the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is funding another dark money Super PAC, this time aimed squarely at parents running for their local school boards this fall.

So, parents, beware!  The NJEA is coming after you with TV ads, opposition research, union-friendly candidates trained and supported by the NJEA, and now with piles of dark money.

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Why Is There a Teacher Shortage?  The NEA Has Known Why Since 2014

In a 2014 National Education Association (NEA) study, young teachers made it very clear that they wanted less politics and seniority in their profession, but the NJEA and NEA gave them more of both.

If New Jersey wants more teacher candidates, maybe we should listen to what these young teachers actually said.  

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New Jersey’s Teacher Shortage is Nothing Less than A Crisis

 “Let’s be clear, the challenges created by the current staffing shortages are systemic and have been exacerbated by the pandemic, but they existed before it began.”

– David Aberhold, Superintendent for West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District and President of the Garden State Coalition of Schools.

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Sunlight Policy Center Releases 2021 Election Spending Analysis

New Jersey Teachers Might Not Know This, So Feel Free to Share During Parent-Teacher Conferences

FACT – Leading up to and during the 2021 elections the NJEA Spent $167 for EACH AND EVERY TEACHER to Support Murphy and Democrats

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Shining a Light on the NJEA’s Dark Money Trails


Congratulation$ to Brendan Gill, Steve DiMicco and Brad Lawrence!

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NJ’s Most Powerful Special Interest, the NJEA, Spends 93% of Its PAC Money on Democrats

Since Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey began shining a light on the entrenched power of the NJEA – many teachers have shared their complaints about their executive leadership – and we get a lot of them.

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Previously Unreported Filings Shows $56.99 was spent for each Spiller vote versus $1.97 for His Opponent, Dr. Renee Baskerville

When Sunlight Policy Center first delved into the NJEA’s support for its current president, Sean Spiller’s, mayoral run, we determined that Spiller had raised $57,000, of which $36,000 came from the NJEA and its allies.


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New Jersey Teachers' Dues: Why are they the highest in the nation and what are they paying for?

New Jersey Teachers’ Dues: Why Are They The Highest In The Nation And What Are They Paying For?

New Jersey’s teachers are getting a raw deal, and most are not even aware of it. Most spend their energy and passion teaching our children and contributing to their communities, not worrying about where their dues money goes. But each year, most of their $1,362 of annual dues is spent far away from their local associations. If the facts about how this money is spent ever came to light, teachers would not be happy.

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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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