The National Education Association is putting its formidable get-out-the-vote and campaigning efforts into 14 U.S. Senate races and 77 U.S. House of Representatives races this fall.
Its first, $15 million round of TV and radio advertisements started airing last week in Arizona, where Rep. Harry Mitchell, a former high school teacher, is running for re-election, and in Ohio, where Rep. Betty Sutton is trying to hold on to her seat. The union’s independent campaign operation also has sent direct mail to voters in North Carolina to help Rep. Larry Kissell, a former teacher and a critic of the No Child Left Behind Act. While the NEA tends to support Democrats, like those three incumbents, its list also includes some Republicans, such as Reps. Todd Platts of Pennsylvania and Judy Biggert of Illinois, who serve on the House education committee.
In all, the 3.2 million-member teachers’ union plans to spend about $40 million this year on federal and state races.
A version of this article appeared in the October 13, 2010 edition of Education Week as NEA Commits $40 Million, Manpower to Political Races