The American Federation of Teachers announced Sunday that it has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in the 2020 election.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said in the announcement that the Democratic presidential candidate “is with us on investing in public education” and would bring all of the resources of the federal government to bear to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. Joe Biden is the experienced and empathic leader our country needs right now,” Weingarten said.
Biden has pledged to triple funding for the Title I program that serves disadvantaged students, in order to increase teacher pay and provide more supports for students. He also wants universal prekindergarten programs for 3- and 4-year olds, and a revival of Obama administration initiatives to encourage desegregation efforts in local school districts.
The National Education Association endorsed Biden on March 14. Both unions have been navigating tricky political waters since the 2016 elections, when some members of both unions expressed dissatisfaction with how the labor groups went about their endorsement process. (Both unions backed Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton).
Last month, the AFT encouraged its state and local affiliates to work on behalf of three Democratic presidential candidates: Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. In her personal capacity, Weingarten endorsed Warren for president before the Massachusetts senator withdrew from the race.
Photo: Former Vice President Joe Biden talks with supporters during a campaign rally for Pennsylvania Democratic candidates for Congress in 2018. (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP)