A new candidate class: Schoolteachers are running for office

Oct 23, 2018 by

By Dean Paton

A litany of pent-up grievances is propelling a wave of office-seeking educators. And it starts and ends with money: from teachers paying for supplies, and watching their pensions and salaries shrink, to colleagues’ jobs being eliminated. This fall across the country, teacher activism continues past the strikes that took place in several states this year, with record numbers of educators on ballots in the general election. The National Education Association says more than 1,400 are running for seats in state legislatures this November, and several are in races for Congress. The culprits in this dissatisfaction, according to educators and think-tank analysts, are state legislatures instituting supply-side economic strategies that cut taxes and starve public education budgets. Says Meg Wiehe of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “The average tax cut for a North Carolina millionaire is about $45,000, which is nearly the equivalent to an annual teacher’s salary of about $51,000.” Kentucky high school math teacher R. Travis Brenda won his primary against a rising GOP star. “There can’t be anymore of that ‘do more with less’ the legislature has been demanding of teachers,” says Mr. Brenda.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor Daily for October 22, 2018

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