EI affiliates the AFT and NEA are united in their opposition to proposed legislation that would require a minimum of 65% of education spending in school districts goes to direct instruction in the classroom.
Both unions believe that the proposal could have an immediate and negative effect on vital non-classroom activities, including school health and nursing, libraries, nutrition, transportation, building maintenance, counselling, security and professional development. Indeed, their concerns are backed up by research conducted by Standard & Poor's that found the "65% solution" would require school districts to cut funding to those excluded functions, which are critical to instruction – libraries and media centres included. The AFT and NEA have already joined forces to fight the measures and a resolution passed by the AFL-CIO federation of labour organisations on February 27 adds weight to the growing challenge to these initiatives. The 65 percent mandate is being promoted by what the AFL-CIO call "a faux grass-roots organization" called First Class Education. Among other things, the resolutions say the proposal "does nothing to guarantee greater achievement or that school districts will adjust their spending in a way that creates greater efficiency."