Education News

Iowa educators press top presidential candidates on public education

By Amanda Menas

As the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus approaches, Iowa’s educators are working to keep public education a top priority in Election 2020. On Saturday, Jan. 18, four of the top candidates spoke to Iowa State Education Association members at the 2020 ISEA Legislative Conference on the theme of “Education: A Safeguard for Democracy.”

At the conference, ISEA members gathered to work on organizing skills to build member participation and action, and hosted Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vice-Pres. Joe Biden, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel.

The field has narrowed since the last public education forum in December. 

ISEA members, including preK-12 public school teachers, education support professionals, community college faculty, Area Education Agency professionals, retired educators and aspiring educators, are keeping education as their number one priority when they vote. These educators have had to work with a legislature hostile to their priorities, battled funding cuts across the state, and lost their right to collective bargaining. As participants in the first voting event in the presidential election, Iowa educators stay politically active for their students, their schools, and their communities.

Here are the highlights from the candidates’ comments at the ISEA event:

ISEA President Mike Beranek brought educators together under a common cause: kicking out Betsy DeVos.

Senator Amy Klobuchar took the stage first, sharing a story about her mother, a second grade educator and union member.

Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about her criteria for selecting a Secretary of Education if she is elected, sharing also, “We build a strong future when we invest in the education of every single one of our children.”

Advocating for strong public schools, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about the importance of education funding.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was the last candidate to take the stage and join the conversation about ensuring a strong public school for every student.

Overall, educators, students, union members, and families made sure the candidates continue to keep public education a top priority leading into the 2020 election.

8 responses to “Iowa educators press top presidential candidates on public education

  1. Bernie is the most engaged, has the strongest most diverse coalition, and the largest donor base of all the candidates. He is the most prepared to take on 45 and the only one with the chops to defeat him. He definitely has my vote.

  2. We need the candidate that will win against Trump! bottom line. Biden is a great man who has done a lot for our country and will continue to d so. But who ever our
    Presidential candidate is we need to get behind them and support and help to get the votes out .

  3. Where’s Bernie? He’s not in the thumbnail and he is clearly the front runner for the Democratic nomination. Perhaps he was unable to attend? He strongly supports public education and has many strong statements over his 40 years in office attesting to this.
    Why do forums like this leave him out?

  4. I cannot imagine anyone seeing Biden as the winner in the last debate. He sounded old, left behind in a bygone era. Bernie, Elizabeth, and Tom sounded like except choices for president – knowledgeable, clear about facts and how to achieve their goals. I’d gladly support any of those 3. And I’m not a young voter. I simply believe I understand what this country needs, and what we don’t need is more of the same (which hasn’t worked and won’t work now).. Obamacare was simply a stepping stone to real healthcare for all, like other civilized countries, who’ve done this very successfully.

  5. With a Masters degree, having taught special ed students, my salary changed from 37k in a charter school w/no union to 64k in a union school system. No comparson.

    Betsy DeVos is a mistake.

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