Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12

Betsy DeVos. Donald Trump. The Every Student Succeeds Act. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

Education

Bennet’s Detractors Hammer on Teacher Pensions

By Alyson Klein — October 05, 2010 2 min read

Education, which is usually pretty low on the list of hot campaign issues, is getting some traction in this congressional midterm-election season.

President Barack Obama appears to have incorporated the charge that Republicans would cut education spending by 20 percent into his current stump speech. GOP leaders have said that’s not the case.

And the White House has planned a high-profile event touting the administration’s accomplishments on community colleges, which some see as the latest and greatest economic engine.

Now education is even coming up in some campaign commercials.

The latest example? The Colorado Senate race, which probably wins the Politics K-12 Award for Most Education-ey, in part because the candidates take such vastly different views on the issue. The challenger is Ken Buck, an attorney and tea-party fave, who has said he wants to get rid of the U.S. Department of Education, and has questioned the federal student lending program.

Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democratic incumbent, is one of the Obama administration’s go-to-guys on education policy, and is even getting some campaign help from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Bennet has already attacked Buck on K-12 issues, saying his views are too extreme. (Check out this commerical.)

Now Bennet’s detractors are hitting him on what should be one of his greatest selling points, his tenure as the superintendent of Denver public schools. They’re bringing up a “risky” financial move Bennet and his staff made in managing the teacher pension system. Right before Bennet’s primary, the New York Times published a story on the deal that brought up cozy connections between Bennet and some of the financial organizations involved in the plan, but then the paper was forced to run a substantial correction saying it had mischaracterized some of those relationships.Check out District Dossier’s take on the NYT story, and on the later fallout.

The ad, which doesn’t even mention Buck, was produced by American Crossroads, which describes itself as a “non-profit political organization dedicated to renewing America’s commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense.”

Here’s the text, as reported by Politico:

He GAMBLED with our teachers' retirements. Facing a $400 million shortfall, Denver school superintendent Michael Bennet pushed the school board into a RISKY deal with Wall Street bankers. The result: MILLIONS lost. And Denver taxpayers paid $115 million in interest and fees. NOW, Bennet has accepted contributions from the same Wall Street bankers who cost our schools. Michael Bennet should work for US - not Wall Street.

And you can watch the ad here.

This issue didn’t seem to hurt Bennet in his race against his challenger in the primary, Andrew Romanoff. But do you think it could be different now?

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read