Who Is AAE?

Association of American Educators

Mission Viejo, CA

AAE is a 501(c)(3) and its Foundation is organized as a non-profit charitable corporation under IRS section 201(c)6, which are known as business leagues and normally used by chambers of commerce, boards of trade and the NFL. Another inventive use of this IRS provision is the Koch-organized Freedom Partners, part of the “murky money maize” that allows tax deductible corporate money to flow to a long list of conservative 501(c)(4) political groups.

AAE is marketed as a low-cost option to actual union membership to school employees. It offers no bargaining assistance or contract enforcement; its services are limited to providing liability insurance, an attorney referral service and emailed newsletters.

Until 2008, it employed a single attorney to provide legal assistance nationally, but it no longer employs her. Its legal assistance is limited to maintaining a list of attorneys its members can hire. It does not help pay legal fees.

AAE also professes to offer professional development. This service is limited to access to a website. Its Education Policy Updates are emailed newsletters and its Voice in Washington “lobbying” service simply shares member surveys with Congress.

Between 2003 and 2011, the non-profit foundations that funded the both AAE and its foundation were:

Castle Rock Foundation $15,000 Coors founder’s son
Daniels Fund $585,000 Cable TV founder estate
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $1,010,000 Dehydrated food heirs
Scaife Family Foundation $10,000 Mellon industrial, oil and banking heirs
The Anschutz Foundation $200,000 Gas, oil, real estate and ranching heirs
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. $1,070,000 Electronic and radio component heirs
The William H. Donner Foundation $51,402 Union Steel Co. heirs
Walton Family Foundation, Inc. $2,455,509 Wall Mart heirs
William E. Simon Foundation, Inc. $340,000 Mergers and acquisitions “pioneer” heirs
$5,736,911

These amounts represent roughly half the total revenues shown on AAE and AAEF’s tax returns, meaning they receive about a million dollars a year from other (corporate) sources. In 2010, the foundation operated at a loss, reducing its fund balance by $37,774. In 2009 AAE lost $85,969 but managed to exceed its expenses by $148,007 in 2010.

Also in 2010, it awarded two grants: $35,781 to the Northwest Professional Educators, its sister faux union in Washington state; and $48,351 to California Teachers Empowerment Network in Woodland Hills, CA, which encourages teachers to become fee payers.

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