The nation’s largest teachers' unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), declined by at least 59,000 members during the 2021-2022 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) disclosure reports.
The NEA, the nation’s largest teachers union, lost 40,107 members while the AFT, the nation’s second-largest teachers union, declined by 19,078, according to the DOL reports. The decline comes as public schools added 95,000 educators from September 2021 to 2022.
The decline in the NEA’s membership leaves the union with 2,496,627 million educators, the lowest union membership since 2006, 74 million reported. The AFT has 1,189,904 with just 43.5% of its members working full-time.
The decline in membership comes after the unions dropped 82,000 members in the 2019-2020 school year, the 74 million reported.
The Oregon Education Association (OEA) reported dropping from 48,774 members to 41,127 over the last two school years, according to OEA documents. New York State United Teachers reported being down 4,384 members while the Florida Education Association has dropped 4,682 members, according to the 74 million.
The decline in membership comes as the teachers' unions have pushed for gender identity lessons in classrooms; in August, the NEA suggested a book about kneeling for the national anthem as a part of a summer reading list for k-12 students. The New Jersey Education Association hosted a drag queen story hour at its 2022 educator convention in November.
The NEA and AFT did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.