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Seeking Allies, Teachers' Unions Court G.O.P. Too

The New York Times uncovers a number of the “strange bedfellows” teachers unions across the country have recently started supporting. More than just run of the mill Republicans, in Ohio the teachers union was the top supporter of a state legislator who is a member of ALEC, while one of the top recipients of Illinois teachers union support is a tea party-er.

The New York Times reported:

Over the past few years, even as Republicans have led efforts to thwart unions, lawmakers previously considered solid supporters of teachers’ unions have tangled with them over a national education agenda that includes new performance evaluations based partly on test scores, the overhaul of tenure and the expansion of charter schools.

As these traditional political alliances have shifted, teachers’ unions have pursued some strange bedfellows among lawmakers who would not appear to be natural allies.

In Illinois, the top two recipients of political contributions from the Illinois Education Association through June 30 were Republicans, including a State House candidate who has Tea Party support and advocates lower taxes and smaller government.

William Seitz, a Republican state senator in Ohio who is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative business-backed group, has received more money this year from the Ohio Education Association than from any other donor. Teachers’ organizations in Georgia and Texas have also donated to numerous Republicans.

In all, teachers’ groups donated $1.23 million to Republican state candidates through June 30, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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