Should Teachers Vote Democrat or Republican?
Educators tend to lean liberal, but why is that the case? Is there any reason that teachers should vote Democrat over Republican to protect their professional interests? And what about the ethical obligation that teachers have as the guides of society towards a more progressive and brighter future?
Should teachers vote democrat or republican? Regardless of your personal politics, it’s in the best interest of all teachers in America to vote Democrat. The primary reason for this fact is a simple one—Democrats favour funding education, while Republicans do not. Republicans are also very hostile towards teachers’ unions, which protect teachers from being exploited in the workplace.
(I tried to remain impartial whilst writing this but it was very, very difficult to find many arguments for voting republican).
Even if you support some of the Republican platforms as a teacher, you’re pretty much voting against your paycheck and workplace resources if you vote Republican candidates into office.
Read on to find out more about why teachers should objectively vote Democrat.
Who You Vote for Should Be Determined by Your Values as an Educator?
It’s no secret that the majority of educators already have a liberal political leaning, and many already vote Democrat as a result. This isn’t just because teachers expect a paycheck from the Democratic party when they end up in office.
Teachers tend to empathise with the Democratic Party for a variety of reasons:
- Democrats support increasing funding for public schools. Are you tired of buying your own supplies for the classroom? Republicans have a track record of massively slashing educational funding over and over again in favour of funding for corporations and the military. (Source: National Education Association)
- Democrats support LGBT rights. LGBT children and teens are already a beleaguered minority and have one of the highest suicide rates out of any group of children—LGBT children contemplate suicide at three times the rate of their heterosexual peers. (Source: The Trevor Project) It is the responsibility of educators to help protect their most vulnerable students. Republican candidates regularly roll back or campaign against protections for LGBT individuals.
- Democrats support organised labour. As a result of this, they are also very supportive of teachers’ unions and other labour unions, as well as increased pay for educators according to union rulings. Contrary to this, Republicans are notoriously supportive of privatised schools, which undermine teacher unions. (Source: Rethinking Schools)
- Democrats support environmental protection. There’s not much point in educating the next generation if there’s no viable environment left for them to inherit. While many Republicans believe climate change is a hoax (Source: New York Times), Democrats are proactive in fighting climate change and other incredibly serious environmental issues.
When it comes to choosing a political party, you can’t just look at how it will affect your paycheck—you also have to look at how it affects the society that you’re trying to live in.
Democrats overall favour a more progressive mindset that benefits educators.
Do Republicans Support Public Education?
The simple answer is no—Republicans as a general rule do not support public education institutions.
Instead, many Republicans support “charter choice” or vouchers for private schools, to push for the further privatisation of the educational system.
In theory, this looks good. Students (theoretically) have more choice in where they will get to go to school, and money is funneled out of “inefficient” public schools. In practice, it is an absolute failure of implementation.
Here are some of the ways that Republican policy has hindered public education in the past two decades:
- By rolling back protections on campus sexual assault cases
- By rolling back protections for transgender students
- By calling for the end of the federal student loan program, pushing student loans onto increasingly predatory corporations
- By decoupling federal funding from school accreditation
- By supporting for-profit education rather than universal free education
- By forcing fundamentalist Biblical education into secular, multidenominational school systems
- By supporting abstinence education over sex education, a platform that has failed according to scientists (Source: Columbia Public Health)
Education has never been a cornerstone of the Republican political platform.
It should come as no surprise that whenever they’re in power, the educational system ends up getting fleeced.
(Source: New York Times)
Do Democrats Support Public Education?
In contrast to the Republican Party, the Democratic Party has always come out in strong support of public education and educators. Not only do they support those progressive systems and policies that are already in place, but they also favour continuing to reform the public education system in the following ways:
- Raising school standards: Democrats are in favour of raising school standards while simultaneously cutting the Common Core curriculum. Raising school standards means things like decreasing the number of students per classroom and increasing the number of teaching resources available.
- Reforming the Head Start Program: This program, which allots $10,000 per student to improve the opportunities for disadvantaged students to receive preschool training and orientation, has been notoriously less than impactful. Democrats support reevaluating this program for efficacy and possibly appropriating those funds elsewhere in the educational system. (Source: Freopp)
- Universal preschool: Rather than dumping millions of dollars into the Head Start program, Democrats favour a universal public preschool system that allows all parents regardless of their economic situation to enrol their children in preschool education, giving them a head-start on their first years of school.
- Increased funding: Democrats favour moving a lot of the bloated budget from the military, private corporate subsidies, and other conservative spending venues in the American government back into progressive programs such as social welfare and the public education system. For example, in 2015, the United States spent a staggering 54% of its discretionary budget on the military, while the entire public education system only got 6%.
(Source: Business Insider)
How Republicans Hurt Teachers
Not only do Republicans actively work against the interests of public education whenever they’re in office, but there are also several other ways that Republican candidates also hurt teachers and the broader community of public educators:
- They insult the teaching profession: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Oklahoma State Representative Kevin McBugle are two Republican politicians who have made the news recently for denigrating teachers directly in public statements and interviews. (Source: The Daily Beast) Unfortunately, this is an attitude that is pervasive across the Republican Party—many Republicans feel that teachers are both underworked and overpaid.
- Their educational policy is not sound: Beyond advocating for unscientifically sound teaching practices such as abstinence education, creationism, and other misinformed educational platforms, Republicans often kick back at policies that are aimed at fixing these problems, such as banning contraceptives in school sex education programs or refusing to pay up for contemporary textbooks that aren’t woefully outdated.
- They favour funding cuts for public education across the board. That means as overworked and underpaid as teachers already are, Republicans want to make that problem even worse. While some Republicans are beginning to warm up to increased pay for education, the majority of them are still more opposed to increased taxes than they are supportive of teachers.
Some moderate Republicans have tried to turn the tide on a public perception that they are anti-education, but that doesn’t change the fact that the overarching Republican platform is explicitly engineered to undermine the education system and promote other interests, mostly financial and privatised – in other words, interests that serve a few wealthy individuals, rather than the public at large.
Teachers Have an Obligation to Vote Democrat
Personal political convictions aside, any teacher who chooses to vote for Republicans based on their civil or economic platform is objectively voting against their own best interests.
For increased public education funding and more progressive social welfare programs that directly aid teaching staff, the Democratic Party is pretty much the only reasonable option.
Should Teachers Vote Democrat or Republican? FAQ
Do Republicans support public education?
In short; No! On the whole Republicans do not support public education institutions.
Many Republicans support “charter choice” or vouchers for private schools as they push for the further privatisation of the educational system. They demonise teachers unions and hold no regard for teachers welfare and pay.
Do Democrats support public education?
The Democratic Party has always had a strong support of public education and educators. They support progressive systems and policies that are already in place and favour continuing to reform the public education system in several ways including; Raising school standards, reforming the head start programme, universal preschool and increasing education funding.
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