As massive teacher strikes swept red states around the country earlier this year, many of those walking out of their classrooms in protest said they needed to change government from the inside. Anecdotally, at least, it seemed an unusual number of teachers might soon run for state office.
One of the country’s top teacher unions now says it has a comprehensive tally of 2018 educators-turned-candidates for state house and senate seats: 554. That includes 512 running as Democrats and 42 as Republicans, the majority of them women.
The analysis from the National Education Association includes members of both its own affiliates and those of the other main teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers. It also takes an expansive view of educator-candidates: The 554 figure includes current and retired teachers, as well as administrators and support staff in K-12 schools across the country.