IEA recommends Gov. Pat Quinn for re-election
The largest education employee union in Illinois is backing Gov. Pat Quinn for re-election.
The Illinois Education Association (IEA), made up of 130,000 teachers, school support professionals and other education employees and retirees, says Quinn is the only candidate for governor who will fight for public schools statewide and work to make sure every student has the resources needed to succeed in school.
The unanimous decision by the IEA Board of Directors to support Gov. Quinn, a Democrat, over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, came after a panel of IEA members interviewed both candidates.
IEA has supported candidates for governor from both major political parties in the past, recommending Republicans for the office of governor in five of the last nine elections.
“We had a spirited discussion with both Gov. Quinn and Mr. Rauner,” IEA President Cinda Klickna said. “We looked at the records of both candidates and asked them to explain where they want to lead our schools and our state.”
According to Klickna, after hearing both candidates lay out their respective visions for public education and for the state as a whole, it was clear that Quinn was the candidate who most closely shares IEA’s commitment to giving all students, everywhere in Illinois, the opportunity to attend a high quality public school.
Among the differences between the two candidates:
- Gov. Quinn supports providing teachers with the resources needed to educate today’s students in today’s public schools. Rauner supports diverting public education dollars to private schools via school vouchers.
- Gov. Quinn has been outspoken in support of the pro-education, pro-student advocacy that teachers and other education employees engage in through their unions. Conversely, Rauner blames public employees, including IEA members, for the state’s financial problems instead of the politicians who actually control state spending.
“The next governor of Illinois must be someone who will put the needs of students ahead of those who want to divert resources away from public schools. Every student should have the opportunity to attend a great school and that’s why Illinois’ students need Pat Quinn as governor,” Klickna said.
The IEA recommendation means Quinn is eligible to receive contributions from the organization’s political action committee. However, according to Klickna, the union’s greatest contribution to any political campaign is the activism by rank and file members.
“We all know Gov. Quinn will be greatly outspent in this campaign. That is why it is crucial that we, as an education organization, do all we can to make sure that voters know exactly where the candidates stand on the key issues. We believe that those who support great schools for every student will support Gov. Pat Quinn.”
The Illinois Education Association is a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and represents education employees throughout Illinois. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago, education support professionals and paraprofessionals, higher education faculty and staff, retired education employees and students planning to become teachers.