Teaching Profession

Democrats to Announce New Political Organization Focused on Education

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 11, 2014 1 min read

Los Angeles

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will discuss the creation of a new political organization, Democrats for Public Education, at today’s AFT convention.

According to Politico, the group will be staffed by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and political strategist Donna Brazile. The group will advocate for schools to “have access to a strong and safe neighborhood school with well-prepared and supported teachers, deep and engaging curriculum and social services to meet their mental, social and physical needs.”

The name appears to be not-so-subtle swing at Democrats for Education Reform, a group that supports Democratic candidates who often take positions counter to those of the teachers’ unions. Given that Weingarten is going to be discussing it today, odds are that the new group’s overall thrust will be to support those that support its priorities, such as school funding, curricula, and support for tenure and due process.

For years, Democrats have been reliably supportive of the unions’ positions. Ever since the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act, in 2002, that has changed.

Politico says the group is a 527, which is the general section in the IRS tax code for a political group. We don’t know if it will support issue-based ads, independent expenditures, or something else.

DFER’s response: Terse and snarky.

We should have more details today after Weingarten speaks. Stay tuned.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.