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Philadelphia Federation of Teachers: “Education is Political”

In an October letter to new teachers, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers made it clear they are determined to double down on political spending and advocacy, despite the challenges teachers face because of their activism.

“Education is political,” the letter said, “and the future of public education is contingent upon our ability to effectively advocate for legislation and elected officials that recognize the critical importance of investing in public education. Your contribution to the political program allows us to continue our political work.”

Teachers unions like PFT continue to push their agenda of making education more political, even in a climate where parents have become increasingly concerned about what is taught in the classroom, and as teachers struggle to get students caught up academically after a school-year disrupted by Covid-19.

The political rhetoric and activism of PFT, their parent union the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), reflects back on teachers, making it more difficult to keep divisiveness out of the classroom.

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is Senior Writer and Researcher with Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Suzanne worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, as Policy Director with the Yankee Institute, as a contributor for The Hartford Courant, and as a regular commentator for WNPR’s The Wheelhouse.