Please join the majority of your colleagues and contribute $2.25 a month to WEA-PAC and $1.00 a month to the NEA-FCPE. See your Building Rep for a form or click here. Return your completed form to your Rep or mail it to NSEA at 18704 Bothell Way NE, Suite 101 Bothell, WA 98011.
WEA-PAC and NEA Fund for Children (NEA-FCPE) and Public Education: Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE FUNDS USED FOR? By combining our small contributions, we’re able to help candidates pay for the costs of mailing and printing, and for advertising on TV, radio and the internet. This is part of our collective power that is the only way we have been able to make major gains, and to protect the gains we’ve made in the past.
WHO MAKES THE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT CANDIDATES TO CONTRIBUTE TO? The educators we elect to WEA and NEA offices make these decisions. Northshore is represented on the WEA-PAC Board by our Cascade Council (Northshore, Shoreline, Edmonds EAs) delegate. We are represented on the NEA-FCPE Board by our elected NEA delegates.
HOW DO THEY DECIDE? First, they make endorsement decisions (also called “election recommendations to our members”) based on candidate questionnaires and interviews. Northshore teachers and ESPs participate in these interviews and write the questionnaires for our State Legislators and School Board members. They review a candidate’s record and commitments on public education and unions. Not on any other issues.
DO WE ALWAYS CONTRIBUTE TO DEMOCRATS? No, we are truly non-partisan. Where there are Republicans who support public education and unions, we endorse and contribute to them if they are the best choice. For example, WEA-PAC endorsed the Republican candidates for Secretary of State and State Treasurer in the fall election. We also withheld endorsements and contributions from those incumbent Democratic legislators who have not been supportive.
WHY DO WE ASK FOR MORE MONEY, IF WE ALREADY PAY DUES? Dues cover the costs of keeping our organization going: paying for staff, offices, etc. Everyone needs to pay dues, or our union becomes less effective. We use the WEA-PAC and NEA-FCPE contributions to make direct contributions to candidates, and we recognize that our members have different viewpoints on this, so they are voluntary.
DO THESE FUNDS ACTUALLY WORK TO ELECT DECISION-MAKERS WHO SUPPORT US? Without the money to buy advertising and mailers, it’s generally impossible to win an election. Volunteers are essential, but not enough. Our contributions to Jay Inslee in 2012 helped him win by a small margin. As Governor, he is currently advocating for the taxes on the wealthy that are necessary to fully fund our schools. In the fall election, our contributions helped elect former Kindergarten teacher Lisa Wellman to the State Senate, from Bellevue. She replaced the anti-union and anti-public schools Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Steve Litzow. Our contributions helped David Cogan to win a seat on the Northshore School Board.
CAN SOMEONE WHO CONTRIBUTES CHANGE THEIR MIND, AND LATER STOP? Yes. All they need to do is to make a written request that the contributions stop.
WHAT IF SOMEONE “CAN’T AFFORD IT”? A monthly contribution of $2.25 to WEA-PAC and $1 per month to the NEA-FCPE is affordable. It’s about the cost of a cup of coffee, less than a beer. It is probably the best investment possible, as the returns in pay, staffing levels, and decisions which benefit our students are enormous.