A Lesson in Value

You Get What You Pay For

A growing number of stories from educators who left – and returned – to NSEA give testimony to the tried and true adage that “you get what you pay for.”

These stories (DeDe Marshall, Grant Christiansen) are about members who returned to NSEA from the Association of American Educators, a group purporting to be a professional teaching organization but with little in the way of service, no staff in or familiar with Nebraska, and a record of opposing bargaining and member advocacy.

In fact, AAE leadership may have deeper ties to anti-public education organizations than to public schools. Founded in 1996 by a West Coast insurance salesman, the AAE, along with organizations like the Freedom Foundation and Choice for Teachers, are funded by corporate interests linked to the DeVos family, the Koch brothers and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Their goal: to eliminate public-employee unions, including the NSEA and our local associations.  The long game is to divert public dollars to privatization of public schools. In many places, the teacher’s union is all that stands between public schools and these bad actors.

“NSEA is the only association that truly advocates for educators, all students and public schools,” said NSEA President Jenni Benson.

“None of these groups have staff on the ground working with members, advocating for members, working with state senators for passage of legislation that will benefit students and public education,” said Benson. “AAE was not at the state capitol three years ago when NSEA defeated a bill that would have flunked every third-grade student who could not read at a certain level. Our members know that not every child learns at the same rate, and that this was a bad bill.  AAE was nowhere to be seen.”

Nor does AAE work to provide quality, affordable health insurance (see story here); fight for fair and decent wages; or work to assist members who have been treated unfairly, as do the 18 NSEA organizational specialists (see story here) stationed across Nebraska who work with members daily.

There’s no doubt: your money is best spent wisely, and on quality: NSEA.