As children head back to the classrooms, let’s look at two important figures to consider this school year: 308,000 and $11,400.

308,000: Number of members lost by the National Education Association.

Education special interest groups, such as the teachers unions, are experiencing a decline in membership. As Stephen Sawchuck reports in Education Week, “by the end of its 2013–14 budget, NEA [the National Education Association] expects it will have lost 308,000 members and experienced a decline in revenue projected at some $65 million in all since 2010. (The figures are expressed in full-time equivalents, which means that the actual number of people affected is probably higher.)”

While the decline in membership appears to have shocked the NEA, the remarks of one of the union’s top officials, treasurer Becky Pringle, are even more shocking:

We’re living with a recession that just won’t end, political attacks that have turned brutal, and societal changes that are impacting us—from stupid education “reform” to an explosion of technology—all coming together to impact us in ways that we had never anticipated.

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