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The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union and professional interest group in the United States. It represents public school teachers and other support personnel, faculty and staffers at colleges and universities, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers. The NEA has over 2.9 million members and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The NEA had a budget of more than $341 million for the 2012–2013 fiscal year. Lily Eskelsen García is the NEA's current president.The stated mission of the NEA is "to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world." The NEA, originally on the conservative side of U.S. politics, by the 1970s emerged as a factor in modern liberalism. While the NEA has a stated position of "non-partisan", it typically supports the Democratic Party. Conservatives, libertarians, and parents' rights groups have criticized the NEA's liberal positions.State affiliates of the NEA regularly lobby state legislators for funding, seek to influence education policy, and file legal actions.
At the national level, the NEA lobbies the United States Congress and federal agencies and is active in the nominating process for Democratic candidates. From 1989 through the 2014 election cycle, the NEA spent over $92 million on political campaign contributions, 97% of which went to Democrats.

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