The National Education Association (NEA) is the most revered and prestigious teaching organization in the entire United States that truly represents the entire teaching community ranging from teachers at public schools to professors at university and college levels. It is also one of the largest labor union organizations in the world that has a sophisticated pattern of governing its labored class and is highly effective in regards to daily operations and meeting the agendas of the masses. The National Education Association has been extremely successful in ensuring that the demands and needs of teachers in the entire nation is met and the profession receives the status and rights that teachers believe and the constitution commits to providing.
NEA has a long history of change management and policy reviews. The NEA started out as the National Teachers Association in 1857 and finally adapted to the current name nomenclature in 1870. Congress finally gave it the status of a chartered organization in 1906. The NEA took its time and had to go through a rough ride in getting the different races, creed and people from different cultures on the same wave length.
The NEA has 3.2 million members and is headquartered in Washington DC. It employs over 550 staff and had a budget of more than $307 million for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. It has been a very organized and well-oiled unit that has sublets and regional offices all across America. The programs and the policies that are stated within the charter of the organization funnel out to all the public schools and colleges. The support staff at the organization ensures that the teachers from all spheres have a centralized voice that is heard in all quarters of the state and the capital.
The stated mission of the National Education Association is "to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfil the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world." The objective is clear, precise and in alignment with the overall requirements of the government. All of the presidents and the staff of the organization work on revamping policies and procedures to further streamline operations, ensure that the correct tax brackets are applied, correct allocations of funds are available to further improve the education level of teachers as well as have all of the teachers live in a calm and smooth environment and not delve into the political asylums that can damage teachers and institutions at large.
One of the interesting elements of the NEA is that it is primarily run by volunteers that give their time and energies to the cause. In return for their hard work and dedication, the members are supported by a network of staff at local, state, and national levels. The stated goal of NEA's work is encapsulated in its tagline: "…building great public schools for every child. The organization has a definitive approach in regards to tackling the on-going issues of teachers at all levels. At the local level, hundreds of volunteers are available that perform a plethora of services ranging from conducting workshops all across the nation to working closely with different vendors and raise funds for different programs the NEA believes to be their important trademarks”.
Another important part of the 550 work force is dedicated in lobbying their needs and requirements to the concerned government offices. The lobbyists ensure that voices are heard and the proper funding per segment is available for all teachers across the state. The objective is to have sound policies being formulated that provide teachers the access to funds that can be utilized to further hone teaching skills and abilities. Funds have to be available for research in different fields of study. The board of directors and the executive committee work in improving and devising policies that benefit the entire teaching staff across the nation. Their work is different from that of the volunteers conducting the trainings and working on fund raisers and varies from the other individuals who are dedicated to lobbying their rights. These individuals work on the game plan and strategies of the organization.
Such a large organization requires extensive funding from all different spheres. Primarily, the funding comes from its members, $295 million in dues from a $341 million total budget in 2005. Though the organization falls short of finances, different government sponsored grants exist that bridge that gap. Certain portion of the amount goes to different volunteering groups within the NEA.