Lavish spending exposes unions’ true priorities

Lavish spending exposes unions’ true priorities

Lavish spending exposes unions’ true priorities

As a taxpayer, you have a vested interest in the recent Fox-5 revelations about the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and the reckless spending of its members’ dues on traveling conventions and large union leaders’ salaries.

Even if you’re not a resident of Maryland, this is just the tip of the iceberg in a broader narrative of questionable union spending. This pattern of lavish expenditures is not unique to Maryland; it’s a widespread phenomenon we document on our website in the QA section of each union.

Take, for example, the Delaware Education Association (DSEA) and the Connecticut Education Association (CEA). In Delaware – you remember, the home state of the current president of the United States, who vowed to make his the most “union-friendly administration you ever saw” – the DSEA spent a staggering $202,098 on travel in 2022.

These figures are not just numbers; they are reflections of the union leaders’ priorities, which seem misaligned with the pressing needs of educators and students. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the CEA’s spending on conferences and meetings amounted to $272,579 in the same year.

It’s not only the travel that should draw criticism but also the high-paid officers many of these unions employ. The Connecticut Education Association, for example, compensated no fewer than eight of its officers over $300,000 a year.

These incidents across Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut paint a concerning picture of how educational unions, entrusted with substantial amounts of members’ dues, choose to allocate their resources.

While there is a legitimate need for certain operational expenses, the scale and nature of many of these unions’ spending habits should raise eyebrows and lead people to question the impact they have on educators and the educational systems they represent.

The Freedom Foundation works tirelessly to make public records requests and expose union financial mismanagement of their members’ dues on our website, We believe transparency is the cornerstone of accountability, and by bringing these facts to light, we aim to empower educators and all public employees with the facts necessary to make an informed decision about union membership.

To pay, or not to pay, that is the question.
The easiest way for a public employee to hold a union accountable is to join the more than 160,000 public employees we’ve already helped cancel their membership. Unions can ignore members and still operate, but operating without their dues dollars is a different story.

National Outreach Director
Before joining the Freedom Foundation, Matthew worked as supervisor at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where he coordinated efforts between federal and state agencies, tribes, and volunteer organizations in the Puget Sound. Grassroots politics has provided Matthew with many unique and sometimes controversial experiences. These experiences range from successfully building coalitions between different factions to training and organizing volunteers to maximize their effectiveness. Matthew’s passion for freedom to educate citizens about their Constitutional rights is strong and unwavering. “I not only measure success by results, bu t by the integrity of the action taken to achieve the result.” —Matthew H.