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The nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics charges that the NEA's reported $22.3 million in political contributions since 1989 is only a small fraction of the union's total political expenditures. The Center cited research by the Landmark Legal Foundation as having conclusively demonstrated this fact in numerous filings with the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor. The NEA's Washington headquarters, for example, currently spends more than $47 million, and local affiliates spend another $43 million, to underwrite the activities of the union's Uniserv network, a political organization that "effectively serves as an auxiliary unit of the Democratic Party." Democrat candidates and party operatives receive 94% of the NEA's political contributions. (Washington Times, 4-11-03)

A new study by New York-based polling group Public Agenda found violence in public schools a top worry for students and teachers. The Washington Times reported (4-25-03) that Public Agenda's "Where We Are Now: 12 Things You Need to Know About Public Opinion and Public Schools" survey shows that nearly half the teachers questioned said they spend most of their class time trying to maintain order. More than four in 10 say they spend more time keeping order than they do teaching. The students complained that violence in school is a fact of life.

A 12-year-old El Paso, Texas middle school student was accused of sexual harassment for sticking his tongue out at a girl when she declined to be his girlfriend. School officials suspended Sal Santana for three days and said they were considering placing him in an alternative school. Sal's parents said they would appeal their son's punishment to the school board and will probably sue the school district regardless of the outcome. Mrs. Salvador told the El Paso Times (4-1-03): "This is crazy. I don't think [Sal] even knows what sexual harassment is."

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Education Reporter is published monthly by Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund with editorial offices at 7800 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 721-1213. The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the persons quoted and should not be attributed to Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. Annual subscription $25. Back issues available at $2.
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