Running for public office can be a daunting prospect, but NEA is demystifying the process with a free non-partisan training program for members to learn what it takes to win election to the school board on up to the state legislature.
The See Educators Run program launched last year aims to give educators – regardless of political party – the tools to raise money, communicate effectively, recruit volunteers, and run a campaign.
“We have seen a noticeable spike in the number of educators running for office because of the Red for Ed movement that swept the nation this spring,” said Carrie Pugh, NEA National Political director. “Educators now are demanding the public schools students deserve.”
Educators are natural leaders and often the first to respond to challenges and opportunities in their communities, Pugh said. “They have authentic stories to tell and real connections to the communities they live in and serve.”
MEA member Andrea Catalina attended a training session in Chicago at the end of August. The Walled Lake special education teacher already serves on the school board in Clarkston, where she lives, but she wanted to learn more about campaigning amid her re-election bid.
Catalina believes every MEA member should consider a run for school board to have a voice in local decision-making and push back against damaging policies.
“I like that I have classroom experience and experience working with kids and parents and staff, so I can fight for those rights,” she said.
The See Educators Run program is open to NEA members and their immediate families. The trainings are free and include travel, hotel and meals. They run from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, so no classroom substitutes are required to attend.
For more information, visit www.SeeEducatorsRun.org or contact your local MEA field office.