2020 Election FAQ

Learn more about how NEA is leading the fight to make public education a central issue in the next presidential race.

Tell me more about StrongPublicSchools.org.

NEA launched StrongPublicSchools.org to serve as an information and engagement hub. You can find events, submit your candidate questions, watch videos, learn more about the candidates running for president, AND take action to support public education.

How does NEA decide whom to recommend in the primaries?

In order to be considered for a recommendation in the presidential election, candidates must complete and return the NEA 2020 Presidential Questionnaire and participate in a video interview with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

As for the recommendation itself, the NEA PAC Council—comprised of representatives from every state, NEA caucus and our Executive Committee—has the authority to put forward a presidential primary recommendation for consideration by the NEA Board of Directors.

How does NEA decide whom to recommend in the general election?

The NEA PAC Council can choose to recommend one or more candidates to Representative Assembly delegates in the general election for president. If the Council puts forward a ballot with two options (e.g., “yes” or “no”), 58 percent or more of the voting delegates must concur for the recommendation to be adopted. If the ballot contains three options (e.g., two candidates and “no recommendation”), a simple majority of voting delegates may confirm the presidential recommendation.

When will NEA make its recommendations for the primary and general elections?

We take the recommendation very seriously, and we know that a candidate recommendation is only powerful if it is part of a process that is highly inclusive and involves deep engagement of NEA members. So we will spend the coming months providing NEA members opportunities to get involved and make their voice heard while reaching out to candidates from all political parties in order to form a deep, comprehensive understanding of their positions on the issues that educators care about. This information will be provided to NEA members. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest developments.

What is the Strong Public Schools campaign?

It’s a nationwide issue campaign focused on lifting up public education in the 2020 presidential campaigns and providing NEA members a voice in the election. Our goal is to have a campaign that is highly inclusive and provide NEA members opportunities to engage with the candidates in order to ensure their voice is heard early and often in 2020.

Do NEA members have a voice in this campaign?

NEA members ARE the Strong Public Schools campaign. In the coming months, educators will have the chance to ask questions of the presidential candidates, learn about their positions on the issues, access exclusive 2020 videos and content, attend events and make their voice heard in this election.

What is the Strong Public Schools Message?

All students deserve an excellent education, regardless of income or zip code. That means great teachers and educational support professionals, smaller class sizes, new technologies and textbooks, and more affordable college options. To achieve this, we must ensure parents and educators—not only politicians—have a voice in what’s best for our schools. Giving all children a fair opportunity creates stronger public schools and a stronger America.

Which candidate does Strong Public Schools Support?

NEA is asking ALL presidential candidates to get to know our members, listen to their concerns, and engage with them on issues that affect our schools, our students, and our communities. Our message is that we want a candidate that will listen to and trust educators.

If the NEA makes a formal recommendation of a candidate in the presidential election, we’ll update this site with content about that candidate, at the same time continuing our original mission to lift up public education and educators.

Why did NEA launch the Strong Public Schools campaign?

Presidential candidates are using this time to consider the issues that they will be focusing on in their campaign. We are hoping to set the agenda by creating a campaign focused on our issues, rather than a single candidate. Taking advantage of the early part of the campaign gives us the ability to raise public education as a major issue early on, while candidates are listening.

When will the Strong Public Schools Campaign run?

Right now! The campaign launched in April and continues to grow.

How can I get involved?

Go to StrongPublicSchools.org and sign up as an activist to get 2020 Presidential email updates and to take action in your state as the campaign builds.

How were candidates selected for video interviews with Lily?

NEA is inviting all presidential candidates to participate in a one-on-one interview with NEA’s Lily Eskelsen García to help our members better understand their positions on issues of vital importance to the success of our public schools. To qualify for interviews, candidates were asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire; once complete, candidates were invited to sit down with Lily.