Labor Union

Washington Education Association

Website:

www.washingtonea.org/

Location:

Federal Way, WA

Tax ID:

91-0460645

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $48,703,845
Expenses: $43,785,876
Assets: $59,466,784

Type:

State Teachers Union

President:

Larry Delany

Parent Organization:

National Education Association

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The Washington Education Association is a left-of-center teachers union that is the Washington state affiliate of the National Education Association. The union represents primarily public-school teachers and teaching assistants throughout the state and is the largest statewide teachers union in the state, outnumbering the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) affiliate AFT Washington, AFL-CIO.

The union is politically active in endorsing and funding Democratic candidates for office in Washington through its political action committee. The union publishes an annual legislative agenda calling for a variety of pro-union education spending increases and class size limits, among other stances. The union and its affiliates have promoted a variety of left-of-center and far-left positions, including coordination with Black Lives Matter-related school groups and calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war of 2023-2024. 1 2 3 4

Background and History

The Washington Education Association was founded in 1889 as the Washington State Teachers’ Association with 124 members. From 1915 to the 1960s the union lobbied for teacher education requirements, school construction funding, and collective bargaining powers. In 1968, the union negotiated the state’s first collectively bargained contract, and the union’s history page on its website boasts that in 1973 teachers in the Evergreen School District defied a court order to end a strike. 5

In the 1980s, the union began collectively bargaining on behalf of community college professors after lobbying the state in support of policy allowing for professors to collectively bargain. In the early 2000s, the union supported ballot measures to increase teacher pay and implement class size limits. 6

In 2003, the Marysville Education Association, a local affiliate of the WEA, led a 50-day strike, the longest in state history. 7

Activity

The Washington Education Association’s top policy issues include education funding, class size caps, and limiting standardized testing and teacher evaluations. The group’s 2024 legislative agenda called for significant pay increases for bus drivers, teaching assistants, cafeteria workers, and adjunct faculty as well as increased funding for special education and support programs for students with behavioral issues. The union also called on the legislature to “support inclusive curriculum and oppose the removal of books from libraries and classrooms.” 8

In 2024, the WEA endorsed state Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) for Governor at its endorsement recommendation convention and publicized opportunities for union members to volunteer on his campaign. 9 The WEA also contributes to Democratic candidates in the state through its political action committee, the WEA-PAC. 10 The union also endorses dozens of candidates for local school boards annually. 11

The WEA dedicates a page on its website to calling out right-of-center groups, including the Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center, that have operated campaigns in the state to educate union members regarding their rights to opt out of union membership, calling such organizations “extremist political groups.” 12

The WEA embraces left-of-center diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ideology and supports left-of-center organizations including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Welcoming Schools, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Teaching Tolerance Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The union also promotes resources regarding Black Lives Matter at School Week. 13

Regarding immigration, the union promotes resources to establish “safe school zones” where school districts refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials. 14

In 2023, the Seattle Education Association, an affiliate of the WEA, voted in favor of a recommendation that was brought forth by members to call for a ceasefire in Gaza as the war between Israel and Hamas began. 15

References

  1. “2024 Legislative Priorities.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/2024-legislative-priorities/
  2. “Black Lives Matter at School.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/educators/inclusive/black-lives-matter-at-school/
  3. “About Us.” AFT-Washington, AFL-CIO. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.aftwa.org/about-us
  4. Whitaker, Denise. “Seattle teachers approve recommendation calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.” KOMO News. November 10, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2024. https://komonews.com/news/local/seattle-public-schools-teachers-cease-fire-israel-hamas-gaza-war-jewish-palestinians-ceasfire-hostages-education-washington-union-sea-association-funding-membership-meeting-violence-antisemitism-students-parents
  5. “History.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/about/history/
  6. “History.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/about/history/
  7. “History.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/about/history/
  8. “2024 Legislative Priorities.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/2024-legislative-priorities/
  9. “2024 Elections.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/2024-elections/#
  10. “WEA PAC.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/wea-pac/
  11. “2023 Endorsements.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/wea-pac/2023-endorsements-2/#
  12. “Protecting Students.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/advocacy/protecting-students/
  13. “Black Lives Matter at School.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.washingtonea.org/educators/inclusive/black-lives-matter-at-school/
  14. [1]“Immigrant Rights.” Washington Education Association. Accessed March 15, 2024.  https://www.washingtonea.org/educators/inclusive/immigrantrights/
  15. Whitaker, Denise. “Seattle teachers approve recommendation calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.” KOMO News. November 10, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2024. https://komonews.com/news/local/seattle-public-schools-teachers-cease-fire-israel-hamas-gaza-war-jewish-palestinians-ceasfire-hostages-education-washington-union-sea-association-funding-membership-meeting-violence-antisemitism-students-parents
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1952

  • 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
    2021 Aug Form 990 $48,703,845 $43,785,876 $59,466,784 $75,176,962 Y $0 $48,682,221 $4,286 $2,768,235 PDF
    2020 Aug Form 990 $47,831,625 $44,764,695 $58,109,523 $95,420,783 Y $0 $47,613,714 $195,399 $2,144,562
    2019 Aug Form 990 $40,910,720 $38,039,620 $51,433,624 $85,661,069 Y $0 $40,363,707 $537,412 $2,016,221 PDF
    2018 Aug Form 990 $41,348,434 $40,176,872 $42,839,244 $60,069,765 Y $0 $41,006,833 $339,634 $1,805,139 PDF
    2017 Aug Form 990 $40,367,424 $40,611,281 $43,139,251 $71,394,021 Y $0 $40,163,539 $206,534 $1,710,123 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $37,729,522 $39,224,901 $41,698,974 $78,598,906 Y $0 $37,676,430 $52,266 $1,865,088 PDF
    2015 Aug Form 990 $36,636,552 $35,938,203 $38,654,975 $64,920,040 Y $0 $36,598,408 $36,408 $1,851,221 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $34,950,684 $32,961,503 $37,321,578 $58,867,274 Y $0 $34,899,372 $52,532 $1,589,207 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $34,212,075 $35,847,320 $32,718,084 $48,068,898 Y $29,384,468 $4,819,073 $8,887 $1,390,041 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $33,724,297 $37,396,093 $37,951,752 $73,001,983 Y $28,558,073 $5,144,168 $18,264 $1,827,830 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $33,277,879 $30,942,247 $36,711,344 $55,300,332 Y $29,016,844 $4,239,866 $8 $1,038,178 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Washington Education Association


    Federal Way, WA