National Education Association Ballot Fund
The National Education Association Ballot Fund was created on July 5, 2000, when the NEA’s Representative Assembly imposed a "special dues increase to assist affiliates with ballot measures." The special dues increase requires every NEA member from around the country to pay $5 per year to the Ballot Fund. The Fund’s bylaws require it to spend 60 percent of its monies supporting or opposing state ballot measures.
The NEA informs its members of the political purpose of the additional charge; however, the Ballot Fund is treated differently from other NEA-sponsored political funds. Whereas the NEA provides opportunities for its members to opt out of other political funds, the dues solicitation materials provided to members by the union offered no opportunity for members to opt out of the Ballot Fund.
The Ballot Fund collects more than $10 million per year from the union’s 2.7 million members. According to a memo from NEA President Reg Weaver to delegates at the 2004 NEA Representative Assembly, the Ballot Fund has spent $20,392,200 supporting or opposing ballot initiatives across the country since 2000.