Two national education groups have plowed about $3.5 million into local campaigns in Illinois, Colorado, New York and other states, in an effort to challenge teachers unions’ longstanding clout in the political arena.
Stand for Children, based in Portland, Ore., has given $1.5 million to candidates who support overhauling teacher-tenure policies.
Democrats for Education Reform, which lobbies for charter schools and tougher teacher evaluations, has spent about $250,000 of its own money and gathered another $1.7 million in fund-raising efforts that went to candidates, mainly in New York and Colorado.
[T]he Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Education Association is still outspending Stand for Children by 3-to-1. But the latest infusion of cash shows how groups seeking [reform] in education are flexing their political muscle.
The nation’s teachers unions have consistently been among the top campaign players in national and state races,…[providing] armies of campaign workers and big-time contributions…