Educators have engaged in record numbers in the 2020 presidential campaign and have made it clear they are ready to take this activism and organizing all the way to November.
After yesterday’s primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, Vice President Joe Biden has 1,180 delegates to Senator Bernie Sanders’ 885.
After much debate and careful consideration, NEA recently decided to endorse Biden in the Democratic primary based on his record of support for public education.
“This was a decision that we took very seriously. It came only after a two-and-a-half-hour debate among state affiliate presidents and NEA’s political action committee—as well as a five-hour debate with the NEA Board of Directors and Executive Committee,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “It was a well thought out and debated decision.”
“Joe is the tireless advocate for public education and is the partner that students and educators need in the White House,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said. “He understands that we have a moral responsibility to provide a great neighborhood public school for every student in every ZIP code.”
Biden’s plan for public education, which he released last May, highlights the need to expand community schools, address racial injustice, fully fund IDEA, triple the funds for Title I schools, and invest in children starting from birth, including with the help of high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten. Biden’s outreach to educators has been led in part by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, an educator and NEA member.
“Biden is also committed to attracting and retaining the best educators by paying them as the professionals they are and increasing funding for support staff and paraprofessionals,” Eskelsen García added. “And he will fire Betsy DeVos and replace her with an Education Secretary who comes from a public school classroom and believes that educators must have a seat at the table when crafting education policy.”
Leake adds, “As educators, our profession is constantly shaped by political decisions. By getting involved in the 2020 election and making our voices heard we can help shape a better future for our students.”