Constitutional Amendment 5 (2018)Defeated
To establish the Representative Assembly as the only body to recommend or endorse presidential candidates for both the primary and general election.
Article III. Representative Assembly
Section 7. Functions.
f. Recommend, endorse, or actively choose not to recommend or endorse a candidate for president of the United States during both the primary and general election process. Any recommendation, endorsement, or other action carrying the weight of a recommendation or endorsement by any other person or body in NEA shall not constitute a recommendation, endorsement, or official position of NEA.
Article III, Section 7, sets out the functions of the Representative Assembly, including:
- Establish Association policies and objectives;
- Elect the president, the vice president, the secretary-treasurer, the at-large members of the Board of Directors, and the members of the Executive Committee;
- Adopt the budget;
- Establish dues;
- Approve or ratify the establishment of subsidiary corporate structures;
- Exercise final authority in all matters of the Association;
- Amend this Constitution and the Bylaws in accordance with Article IX hereof;
- Adopt the rules and agenda governing its meetings; and
- Enact such other measures as may be necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of the Association which are not in conflict with the Charter, this Constitution, or the Bylaws.
The Representative Assembly currently has authority to establish a procedure for the recommendation of presidential candidates and has exercised such authority through the NBI process to establish the current process. This process is set out in the Guidelines for the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, as adopted by the NEA Board of Directors.
For a primary recommendation, the Guidelines provide that, at any time, the NEA Fund Council may recommend the official primary election recommendation of a presidential candidate or candidates to the NEA Board of Directors. Concurrence of the Fund Council’s recommendation by the NEA Board requires 58 percent of those voting. An NEA primary recommendation of one or multiple candidates requires the concurrence of the appropriate state association governance body before implementation and before any NEA resources can be expended on behalf of the recommended candidate in that state.
For the general election, the Guidelines provide that, at any time, the NEA Fund Council may put before Representative Assembly delegates the recommendation for a presidential candidate. Delegates may vote either by a secret mail ballot or appropriate electronic means, or by secret ballot at the NEA RA. If the official ballot contains three options (e.g., two candidates and “no recommendation”), a majority of those voting is required for recommendation. If the official ballot contains two options (e.g., a “yes” or “no” choice), 58 percent of those voting is required for recommendation.
If adopted, the amendment would require that only the Representative Assembly itself recommend, endorse, or actively choose not to recommend or endorse a candidate for president of the United States during both the primary and general election process. The amendment would further provide that any action carrying the weight of a recommendation or endorsement by any other person or body would not constitute an official recommendation, endorsement, or position of NEA.
If the amendment is adopted, the NEA Fund Council and other appropriate governing bodies will determine the timing of sending primary and general election recommendations elections to the Representative Assembly.
Joshua Rubin - MD