Democratic presidential candidates—and potential contenders—are rushing to embrace the Unified Teachers of Los Angles in their fight for more resources for their classrooms. (Great breakdown on the strike and the reasons for here, from Maddy Will).
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who announced earlier this month that she’s forming a presidential exploratory committee, was among the first to get in on the action:
I support @UTLAnow & LAUSD teachers who are for fighting for better pay, smaller classes, & better resourced schools for our kids. When we fail our public school teachers, we fail their students - and we fail our future. I’m with our teachers all the way. https://t.co/jDY8wWv10u
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 14, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is expected to announce her candidacy soon, weighed in, too.
Los Angeles teachers work day in and day out to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders. I’m standing in solidarity with them as they strike for improved student conditions, such as smaller class sizes and more counselors and librarians. https://t.co/WcUdrSOk7D
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 14, 2019
So did Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, who sought the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is expected to jump into the race again.
We need a revolution in education. Teachers in LA should not be forced to strike for decent wages and smaller classes. All parents deserve high quality, affordable childcare. Young people should not leave college deeply in debt. We must get our priorities right.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 15, 2019
And so did Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate.
We need to do better as a country investing in public education and public school teachers. -SB
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) January 15, 2019
Interestingly, none of the contendersappear to share former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s view that the teachers’ union should instead work with district leadership to get California’s lawmakers to provide more money for education. Duncan is worried about the impact of the strike on vulnerable students. “It’s just like a family, when adults fight, it’s kids that lose,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Hill.
Want to know more about the education records of possible 2020 White House contenders? Check out this blog post.
Photo: Jae C. Hong for the Associated Press