Saturday, October 3, 2015

BATs Respond to NEA Board of Directors Primary Endorsement of Hillary Clinton
More information contact:
Marla Kilfoyle, General Manager BATs or Melissa Tomlinson, Asst. General Manager BATs
The Badass Teachers Association at
The Badass Teachers Association is an education activist organization with over 70,000 supporters across the nation. We are an organization of parents and teachers who are fighting to strengthen and defend public education. We are an organization that believes in equitable funding for education and for addressing the needs of children so that they succeed in school. We are members of the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. We are strong defenders of our unions but we also believe that when they do things that do not extend the voice of the rank and file, we will call them out.
The National Education Association has chosen to make an early endorsement in the Democratic Primary. This is a process that we disagree with for many reasons. First and foremost, none of the Democratic candidates have made clear their position on public education. Secondly, there has not been an open Democratic debate in which the candidates have discussed their positions on public education. In the last several decades, our public education system has come under fire and been attacked by those who would systematically destroy OUR GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS through corporate designs and privatization. They do so through a political system influenced, manipulated, and controlled by corporate reformers who seek to profit from our students while undermining the foundation of our strong union presence. We strongly believe that continued support of candidates who have aligned themselves with the very people who are perpetrating these efforts is neither wise nor prudent.
"Ask yourself these three questions: 1. Does it unite us? 2. Does it build our power? 3. Does it make us stronger? This issue is not uniting us. There is quite a split over doing this endorsement. We do not need that going into a very challenging year. Yes, this could build our power, but at what cost. This does not make us stronger. When so much concern is raised around one issue and the concerns are ignored by the Association leaders, that will perpetuate apathy. People feel their voices are NOT heard. This is not a good strategy." - NEA Badass Teacher Caucus Chair Becca Ritchie.
"It is clear that we, as a profession of educators, are under attack from a Corporate Education Agenda that seeks to weaken unions and its members' power to collectively bargain. Until such a time when any person running for the office of the President of our great nation can, without equivocation, state that they support Public Education and will actively support our opposition to high-stakes testing, charter schools, austere evaluation system based on test scores, and the return of autonomy to the classroom. If they cannot abide, then we CANNOT endorse." - Massachusetts BAT Gus Morales.
BATs believe in unionism. We want to believe that actions taken by our union leadership reflect the values and wishes of its members. In light of the looming Friedrichs vs. CTA decision which will threaten the ability to collect agency fees, it is our hope that teachers would feel respected in the actions taken by union leadership on this question of primary candidate endorsement. We are disappointed that the voices of rank and file have once again been ignored. 




  1. I think we need an NBI at RA next summer to overturn this "process" of endorsing candidates. If passed, I think we could change this endorsement before election time. Please advise, BATs.

  2. I agree a NBI must be written!

  3. My jaw dropped when I saw that the NEA, of which I am a member, decided to endorse the corporatist Hillary Clinton. This is antithetical to the NEA's purpose.

  4. Replies
    1. New Business Item. It is written by any delegate to the NEA from their state and brought to the floor for a vote by all members across the nation.

    2. I couldn't believe it when we voted in caucus at the RA to wait to endorse a candidate, only to find out when we reconvened in general assembly that the NEA had endorsed Clinton. After all the money that was spent on the "Ask Me" campaign, people felt as if they had been betrayed .

  5. We couldn't believe it when we voted in caucus at the RA last week to WAIT to endorse a candidate, only to find out when we reconvened that NEA had already voted to endorse Clinton. After all the money that had been spent on the "Ask Me" campaign, many of us felt betrayed.


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