Teachers Divide on Dold, Schneider
IFTA endorses Schneider while Dold gets nod from IEA.
Illinois’s two major teachers’ unions split endorsements this week in the 10th Congressional District race with Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and his Democratic opponent, Deerfield’s Brad Schneider, each getting one.
Schneider got the backing Thursday of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) while the Illinois Education Association (IEA) announced support for Dold Tuesday. Both unions of approximately equal size made their pick based on the candidates’ stance on the issues.
The IEA has been happy with Dold’s record on education issues, according to union Government Relations Consultant Sean Denny. Denny was in the endorsement session where both Schneider and Dold spoke and answered questions.
“Congressman Dold has done a very, very good job of showing his support of the education community,” Denny said. “He has been open, honest and sincere with the IEA and we feel comfortable with him representing our interests in Washington.”
A key issue for the IEA is Dold’s outspoken support for STEM education. “Rep. Dold has been very active promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in this district,” IEA resident Cinda Klickna said.
Schneider, an engineer by education, has said on several occasions he supports STEM learning as well.
When asked if his organization had any concerns with Schneider after endorsing an opponent twice, Denny had a one word answer. “No,” he said.
The IFT also listened to both Dold and Schneider, asked questions of each and came away liking best what it heard from the Democratic challenger, according to Communications Direct Dave Comerford.
“He (Schneider) takes a look at the entire scope of it (education),” Comerford said. “Schneider believes the key to education is giving the teachers the resources to build up the students. He understands the issues pertaining to education.”
The IFT has no quarrel with Dold, according to Comerford. The group prefers Schneider. “This group feels Brad Schneider is the best candidate.”
The IEA has approximately 130,000 members in Illinois and 6,268 in the 10th District, according to Denny. The IFT also has just in excess of 130,000 members in the state and slightly more than 5,000 in the district, according to Comerford.