Labor Union

Fairfax Education Association

Website:

fairfaxea.org/%20

Location:

Fairfax, VA

Tax ID:

54-0614554

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $886,347
Expenses: $804,735
Assets: $3,282,317

Formation:

1920

President:

Kimberly Adams

Type:

Teachers union

The Fairfax Education Association (FEA) is a teachers’ union in Fairfax County, Virginia which represents 4,000 teachers and staff out of the 25,000 total employees in the district. [1] In 2020, the FEA drew attention for opposing any reopening of the Fairfax County Public School system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FEA has opposed all in-person schooling since June 2020. The organization has led a petition to keep schooling online until a vaccine or COVID-19 treatment is widely distributed and has asked its members to call in sick as a form of protest. [2]

The FEA has a political action committee, the Fairfax County Political Action Committee for Education, or FEA PAC. [3]

History

In 1920, the Richmond and Fairfax County school districts established the FEA as a labor union for teachers. The school districts required union membership for all public school teachers in the county, taking union dues directly from teacher paychecks. [4]

In 1946, the FEA separated from the school district and began to operate as an independent union under its first president, Katherine Hopper. [5] In 1956, the organization established the Fairfax Association Education Federal Credit Union (currently known as the Apple Federal Credit Union), which has grown to provide financial services to 89,000 union members today. [6]

The FEA expanded considerably in the 1970s and purchased an 8.5-acre tract of land in 1970 to construct a headquarters. The organization – negotiated for expanded healthcare benefits, maternity leave, a sick leave bank, duty-free lunch, and other benefits for its members. [7]

In 1977, the Virginia Supreme Court declared government worker collective bargaining unconstitutional. FEA has blamed this decision and the political atmosphere cultivated by former President Ronald Reagan on alleged setbacks faced by the union throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including the evaluation of teachers and the implementation of performance-based pay initiatives. [8]

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the FEA has supported keeping school online and limiting all in-person interactions. On June 23, 2020, after months of digital schooling, the Fairfax County Public School district announced its intentions to restart in-person schooling in the fall of 2020 and distributed a survey to parents and teachers asking for their preferences between in-person and online schooling. The FEA joined the two other Fairfax teachers’ unions, the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers and the Association of Fairfax Professional Educators, in condemning the district’s actions. The unions jointly issued a public statement demanding that the county negotiate with the unions on future reopening plans. [9]

Early in the summer, Fairfax County announced plans to begin the 2020-2021 school year in a virtual-only manner but continued to push for in-person openings as soon as possible. The county made multiple proposals for in-person schooling guidelines, but they were resisted by unions several times over the summer. In September 2020, the county officially announced that guidelines would be drawn up for in-person schooling to be implemented after the start of the school year. Over the following month, Fairfax County received 2,200 requests by teachers and staff to remain out of school for health reasons and granted 1,000 of those requests. [10]

On October 8, the FEA asked its members to call Fairfax County officials and demand that its schools continue digital teaching until all Fairfax County officials resumed their own meetings in-person. [11]

On October 9, FEA president Kimberly Adams was quoted in the Washington Post accusing Fairfax County of “strongarming” teachers and being willing to “sacrifice staff” for the sake of in-person classrooms. Adams claimed that 50-100 teachers had already asked to resign or retire if in-person schooling returned, and that hundreds or thousands more could quit. [12]

On October 19, Fairfax schools announced their guidelines for the return of limited in-person classes. All students and staff members would be required to wear masks, and students were asked to attend school only two days per week. [13] Teachers and staff members were asked to make a decision on whether they would be willing to work in-person by October 30. [14]

A few days later, the FEA organized a petition among Fairfax County teachers, parents, and students asking the Fairfax Public School System to keep its classrooms closed at least throughout the entire 2020-2021 school year, if not until a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment became widely available. If in-person school continued, the petition requested that air filters be installed in every room; that all staff members be periodically tested for COVID; and that all teachers, staff members, and students would have the option of continuing digital attendance.

On October 27, the FEA recommended that all of its members call in sick to take a “mental health day” to protest in-person schooling. [15]

On its website, the FEA has committed to supporting any member who fears for his or her safety and refuses to go to a school building, even for non-classroom work. [16]

References

  1. “Union Urges Fairfax County Teachers To Take ‘Mental Health Day’ Wednesday.” 4 Washington. October 27, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/northern-virginia/union-urges-fairfax-county-teachers-to-take-mental-health-day-wednesday/2455264/. ^
  2. Natanson, Hannah. “Northern Virginia schools want to send kids into classrooms again. Will teachers come back too?” Washington Post. October 9, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/northern-virginia-schools-want-to-send-kids-into-classrooms-again-will-teachers-come-back-too/2020/10/09/22030128-0a38-11eb-859b-f9c27abe638d_story.html. ^
  3. “Fairfax Education Association Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/540614554/05_2019_prefixes_53-56%2F540614554_201808_990O_2019051416299102. ^
  4. “History.” Fairfax Education Association. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/history/. ^
  5. “History of Presidents and Execs.” Fairfax Education Association. Accessed November 10, 2020. http://fairfaxea.org/history-of-presidents-and-execs/. ^
  6. “History.” Fairfax Education Association. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/history/. ^
  7. “History.” Fairfax Education Association. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/history/. ^
  8. “History.” Fairfax Education Association. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/history/. ^
  9. “Fairfax Education Association urges FCPS to continue distance learning until ‘COVID-19 vaccine or treatment is available.’” Fort Hunt Herald. June 30, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://forthuntherald.com/fairfax-education-association-urges-fcps-to-continue-distance-learning-until-covid-19-vaccine-or-treatment-is-widely-available/. ^
  10. Natanson, Hannah. “Northern Virginia schools want to send kids into classrooms again. Will teachers come back too?” Washington Post. October 9, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/northern-virginia-schools-want-to-send-kids-into-classrooms-again-will-teachers-come-back-too/2020/10/09/22030128-0a38-11eb-859b-f9c27abe638d_story.html. ^
  11. “Get on the Line and Make the Calls.” Fairfax Education Association. October 8, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/get-on-the-line-and-make-the-calls/. ^
  12. Natanson, Hannah. “Northern Virginia schools want to send kids into classrooms again. Will teachers come back too?” Washington Post. October 9, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/northern-virginia-schools-want-to-send-kids-into-classrooms-again-will-teachers-come-back-too/2020/10/09/22030128-0a38-11eb-859b-f9c27abe638d_story.html. ^
  13. Murillo, Michelle. “Fairfax County schools moving forward with plan to get more kids back in the classrooms.” WTOP News. October 19, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2020/10/fairfax-county-schools-moving-forward-with-plan-to-get-more-kids-back-in-classrooms/. ^
  14. Barber, Timothy. “’Not getting the education we signed up for’: Fairfax parents react to teachers concerns.” WJLA. October 29, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://wjla.com/news/local/openfcps-reacts-to-teacher-unions-mental-health-day. ^
  15. “Union Urges Fairfax County Teachers To Take ‘Mental Health Day’ Wednesday.” 4 Washington. October 27, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/northern-virginia/union-urges-fairfax-county-teachers-to-take-mental-health-day-wednesday/2455264/. ^
  16. “FAQ FCPS Response to COVID-19.” Fairfax Education Association. Updated June 12, 2020. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://fairfaxea.org/faq-covid-19/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1978

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Aug Form 990 $886,347 $804,735 $3,282,317 $595,624 Y $839,571 $0 $7,515 $123,341 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $949,193 $793,368 $3,056,564 $462,328 Y $894,429 $0 $9,917 $116,074
    2015 Aug Form 990 $984,340 $770,803 $3,079,537 $652,168 Y $947,740 $0 $13,272 $97,127 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $1,181,762 $858,982 $2,898,847 $674,066 Y $1,156,280 $0 $3,562 $93,475 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $1,064,109 $820,498 $2,457,865 $587,260 Y $1,063,801 $0 $2,595 $135,700 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $1,194,366 $946,678 $2,643,181 $1,036,516 Y $1,204,242 $0 $3,000 $116,108 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $1,273,193 $1,084,250 $2,028,617 $686,290 Y $1,296,354 $3,010 $2,641 $115,065 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Fairfax Education Association

    3917 OLD LEE HWY STE 1
    Fairfax, VA 22030-2431