Since 2020 education has been a hot-button issue. From shutdowns and remote learning to mask mandates and vaccine requirements, many of the issues were a product of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are other things that were long-simmering issues that just happened to bubble their way to the top at the same time. Issues like critical race theory and LGBTQ+ accommodations. All of these things have combined like Voltron to form one of the most divided educational landscapes in a long time… which of course made it ripe for political
If you are a school district employee this has likely made the last couple of years very difficult for you. It would be very easy to long for the days of education being an irrelevant issue on the national stage again. However, at the end of the day, this is what every educator should want. Yes, depending on what side of the aisle you fall on things may not go your way this time around. But setting the precedent that the right education platform can move the needle is good for education in the long run.
The only other time in recent memory when education was this big of a national issue was during the Red for Ed movement. The teacher strikes and advocacy from that time directly led to raises for teachers and increased education budgets.
So yes, it is important for people on either side of the political spectrum to recognize that this is a sword that can cut two ways, but most importantly that it is a sword that CAN cut. If politicians are not periodically reminded of this, it becomes substantially easier to ignore education issues. Tuesday’s results and whatever changes they bring may not be what you personally desire but every educator should cheer on school being elevated to a primary topic in the political landscape. After all, if education is not an elevated issue then you would have very little recourse to push for any changes you find favorable in the future.