Very few people are familiar with how the Bergen County Education Association (for County Level Candidates), the New Jersey Education Association (for State Level Candidates) and the National Education Association (for Federal Candidates) endorse candidates for political office. If YOU had the opportunity to sit down with all the candidates running for a political office…what questions would you ask about? Standardized Testing? Health Care? Evaluations? School Funding? Vouchers? Charter Schools? Student Debt Forgiveness? The BCEA/NJEA/NEA endorsement process is a multi-step process and it starts at the LOCAL LEVEL! For many local, county and state offices, it starts with a LOCAL Screening Committee, which is made up of your fellow colleagues. Custodians, Secretaries, Teachers, College Professors, School Bus Drivers and/or Teacher Aides can make up the Local Screening Committee and they have the opportunity to ask a variety of questions to all of the candidates that attend the screening. The process is very open because observers from each local are welcome to observe the screening. Upon completion of the interviews, review of a candidates voting record and the evaluation of an in depth questionnaire and their “electability” chances, the Local Screening Committee then discusses and votes on who they believe will support public schools and public school employees the best.
But that is NOT the end, depending on the political position the Local Screening Committee’s recommended endorsement then moves to the next level…usually to the 125 member NJEA PAC Operating Committee and if it is a Federal position (after receiving approval from the NJEA PAC Operating Committee), the endorsement recommendation heads off to the NEA PAC Committee! The whole process is run from the bottom up (which is not common in such large organizations and unions!) and very transparent….all with ONE goal in mind…finding the BEST candidates, no matter WHICH Political Party they are from, that will support and protect our public schools and employees. You can read an article about the process here.
There are some members that feel that the union should NOT be involved in “politics”. But with BILLIONS of dollars at stake…almost every aspect of public schools IS political.
Your Teacher Evaluation: made by state law made by politicians.
Your Pension: Formula and Funding is made by state law made by politicians
Tenure: established by state law made by politicians
Teacher Evaluation: made by state law and regulations made by politicians or political appointees
Subjects and Topics You Teach: state law and regulations made by politicians or political appointees
Charter Schools & Vouchers: (which take money from public schools): made by state law made by politicians
Funding for public schools: funding is determined by state and federal law (Title I, II etc.) and regulations made by politicians and political appointees
Student Loan Forgiveness: state and federal law and regulations made by politicians
Standardized Testing: state and federal law (NCLB/ESSA) and regulations made by politicians
Health Benefits: state law (like Chapter 78) made by politicians
You name it…almost every aspect of public schools is determined by politicians, so YOUR involvement in politics matters to YOU and YOUR STUDENTS.
Voting for BCEA, NJEA & NEA candidates helps make sure that supporters of public schools are elected into office. Of course, we will have differences…there are very few politicians who agree with us 100% of the time. But what would you prefer? A politician who supports public schools 75-80% of the time or a politician who supports public schools 0% of the time?
Vote for BCEA, NJEA & NEA ENDORSED candidates to help protect public schools, protect your students and protect you1
BIDEN+HARRIS 2020 (Click for a “clickable” PDF to learn more on why public school employees support Biden & Harris and volunteer opportunities.)
NEA Recommended Legislative Candidates – 2020 (Click for a “clickable” PDF to learn about candidates and volunteering opportunities.)
The Bergen County Board of Commissioners (formerly Freeholders) determines funding for Bergen County Academies, Technical Schools and Special Services and Bergen County Community College.
How to Vote 2020 General Election (Click here for the “clickable” PDF.)