Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. 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. Read more from this blog.

Federal

NEA, AFT Presidents: Hillary Clinton Can Make Things Happen

By Alyson Klein — February 02, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton barely eked out a win against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic caucuses Monday and is likely to lose the New Hampshire primary next week, based on the latest polling.

But the two national teachers’ unions, which have put their muscle and money behind Clinton, say they not disheartened with their candidate—they’re in this for the long haul.

There are 49 states to go, said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the president of the National Education Association, a 3 million-member And, no matter how close the margin was in Iowa, a victory is a victory.

“We’ll take it!” she said of the close win in a phone interview Tuesday, from the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, is on the same page. “The fact that she won the caucus, I thought that was terrific,” Weingarten said in a separate interview Tuesday, just before heading out canvass in the Granite State.

NEA and AFT’s endorsements haven’t stopped their members from wishing union leadership had held off on making a pick, or from campaigning for Sanders.

But that’s to be expected, both Eskelsen Garcia and Weingarten said.

“People are very active in this race,” Weingarten said. “It’s about a 3-1" split, for Clinton vs. Sanders, she added. The important thing, she said, is for all members to get behind the eventual Democratic nominee, whether it’s Clinton or Sanders.

Eskelsen Garcia had a similar take—of course, some teachers are going to have a different favorite candidate. “We don’t expect that 3 million people are just going to do whatever we put in a memo,” she said.

But she’s still hoping to make Clinton’s case to her members. Both Clinton and Sanders are great on policy, she said. But in her view, Clinton is the candidate best positioned to actually deliver on her promises.

“She’s the one who is going to get things done,” Eskelsen Garcia said. Case in point: Clinton’s health-care push as first lady back in the 1990s led to the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which expanded care options for children from low-income families.

Weingarten sees Clinton in the same light. “Both have very similar values,” she said. But Clinton is more equipped to talk about how you go about raising wages and expanding economic opportunity.

Some educators are on the same page as the union leadership:

But other teachers see things differently—and are still bummed about the choice to endorse Clinton. They’ve taken their case to social media:

A sign directs voters to a caucus site on Feb 1 in Silver City, Iowa.

--Dave Weaver/AP


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How Biden Will Mandate Teacher Vaccines, Testing in Some States That Don't Require Them
President Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan will create new teacher vaccination and testing requirements in some states through worker safety rules.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela administers a COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site for at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP
Federal Biden Pushes Schools to Expand COVID-19 Testing, Get More Teachers Vaccinated
President Joe Biden set teacher vaccine requirements for federally operated schools as part of a new effort to drive down COVID's spread.
7 min read
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.
President Joe Biden in a speech from the White House announces sweeping new federal vaccine requirements and other efforts in an renewed effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal Education Department Opens Civil Rights Probes in 5 States That Ban School Mask Mandates
The move on behalf of students with disabilities deepens the fight over masks between the Biden administration and GOP governors.
4 min read
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021.
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles in April 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP