Education News

Top 4 takeaways for educators from primary election season

Primary season is upon us, and with 26 states already in the books, it’s a good time to take a look at the top trends and takeaways for educators.

Teachers are running for office

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We’ve seen educators across the country walk out and speak up on behalf of their students and fellow educators this year. Now, many are going a step further and deciding to run for office themselves, as pointed out in a recent TIME magazine piece that features Carrie Pugh, political director for the National Education Association (NEA), which represents about 3 million educators nationwide.

In 2015, the NEA started building a campaign training program for educators, gearing it toward prospective candidates for school boards and city councils,” reads the article. “But they’re now adapting the curriculum because teachers have shown a much greater interest in state legislative seats. Pugh said she has received applications from about 150 teachers in nearly 30 states — mostly Democrats, but some Republicans, too — who want to attend the NEA’s first large candidate training this month.

Governor candidates are finally talking about tax fairness in the name of education funding

In order to provide appropriate funding for public education, states must have adequate and consistent sources of revenue and use them properly. Translation: States need to have a fair system of taxation, and invest taxpayer dollars in the public schools attended by 90 percent of students.

Unfortunately, for many years, floating the idea of increasing taxes on the top 1% of earners or on large corporations and specifically flagging that money for education, was seen as taboo. This year, however, we’ve seen a number of gubernatorial candidates standing up for education and the middle class by proposing tax reforms that would do just that. You can read more about some of those tax fairness champions here.

Education matters to voters

Education, especially K-12, has been an extremely important factor in the primary elections so far this year. A recent California poll has shown exactly that, with 90% of voters saying candidates’ positions on education are important to them.

Nearly two-thirds — 64 percent — of likely voters in a new survey called education “very important,” an increase from 58 percent four years ago when the same question was asked.

A full 90 percent said candidates’ positions on education are important to them.

We are likely to have many more female elected officials

Women are winning across the country, and not just in Democratic races. In the most recent round of primaries, Republican Katie Arrington beat incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina. In Virginia, six out of the seven U.S. House districts currently controlled by Republicans will face female challengers in the general election.

You can learn more about how female candidates are doing with Bloomberg’s interactive feature.

7 responses to “Top 4 takeaways for educators from primary election season

  1. Gretchen Whitmer unlocked doors of the capital building when they were mysteriously locked when the public was supposed to have the opportunity on pending legislation; we need more voter friendly politicians in Lansing.

  2. What do you mean having people with experience in the field of education actually striving for a better state with better schools by seeking office! In Illinois we have seen our public colleges and universities reduce programs. Some have appeared to be on the brink of closing. Due to our ineffective, uncaring governor RAUNER (that’s a swear word in my book) many areas with large populations such as south Cook County and northeast and central Will County would no longer be near a state school. Why must we be subjected to high cost, low value private for profit schools. Places that set up shop close to highway exits, the same type of set up that our military members find themselves ambushed by and preyed upon. Perhaps Trump can invent another university. One without value.

  3. Good luck to those teachers who are running!! We need people who understand what education really means.

  4. I usually vote for democrats since they can usually be counted on to fully support quality education for all kids.

    Now everyone must band together to make sure quality education for all kids remains available.

  5. I often vote for democrats since they can usually be counted on to fully support quality education for all kids.

    Now all citizens must band together to make sure excellent education is within reach of all children!

  6. Politics has no place in education. Providing current events information is excellent when done in a “matter of fact”, unbiased manner. I see many educators however who try to advance an agenda and influence the minds of the students. That is unacceptable. Teachers should be teaching students how to think, not what to think. Like our government, academia is becoming corrupt and self serving. Teaching was a profession that was admired for its objectivity and rational, logical presentation of information. It was an arena open to freedom of thought and Aristotlean dialogue. The sharing of ideas and discussion. It no longer has that respect.

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