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School Choice: A Bipartisan Issue at the AFC Conference
posted by: Winworld | May 27, 2015, 07:11 PM   

By Conner Dunleavy

Last week, AAE representatives had the pleasure of attending the American Federation for Children (AFC) National Policy Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana. AAE was honored to represent a teacher-driven voice among a cadre of diverse speakers and guests from all walks of life and political stripes. Although attendee opinions varied, advocates joined together with an important common goal in mind: education reform.

Among those to address the conference were Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (a potential Republican candidate for President in 2016), and James Carville (a top Democratic operative). They both spoke about the pressing need for education reform and school choice. Governor Walker stated “we need to provide as many options as possible,” while Carville noted “Education in [New Orleans] is one of the biggest success stories [the nation] has!”

The issue of education reform is one which finds a solid footing in the realm of bipartisanship, yet still faces fierce opposition from teachers’ unions interested in preserving their monopoly. New York is mentioned as a prime example of this– a solid blue state whose liberal Governor (Andrew Cuomo) is traveling the state in an effort to drum up support for education reform. Building a coalition for the sake of students has become a top national priority.

AAE Member Advocacy Leader Ms. Rhonda Lochiatto spoke on a conference panel about school leadership. As a charter school teacher in Florida, Rhonda spoke about the importance of empowering teachers as leaders. “We need to stop perpetuating the myth that teachers are not in support of education reform,” said Rhonda. “As a charter school teacher, I’m directly benefiting from school choice in action and I’m grateful.”


As a member-driven organization, AAE’s agenda reflects the priorities, current issues, and concerns of our member educators. We’re pleased to be partnered with several networks of charter schools across the country. While the status quo may resist change and new opportunities for teachers, AAE sees opportunity to serve hardworking educators in all settings. With new and emerging options for students, teachers can also reap the benefits of school choice.

Click here to watch many of the AFC conference sessions.

Is education reform a bipartisan issue in your area?

Tell us in the comments below!

ConnerDunleavyAs the 2015 summer intern for AAE, Conner supports the communications and marketing team in the DC AAE office. From the class of 2017, he intends to graduate from the University at Albany with a Bachelor's Degree in European History and a Minor in Education.

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