Support DFER PACs across the country!

by Democrats for Education Reform

Distributed among the recipients below

Throughout the country, DFER's federal and state political action committees are critical vehicles for supporting reform-minded leaders.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform

Democrats for Education Reform

DFER’s federal PAC was founded in 2005 to fight a disturbing dearth of support within the Democratic Party for reforms that help ensure a high-quality public education for all students. The political landscape has changed dramatically since then – in particular with the election of an education reformer as President – and federally supported reform efforts are blossoming throughout the country.

Today, we see small but vocal caucuses of education reformers in the house and senate, but too often those incumbents are also among the country’s most vulnerable. Meanwhile, too many other Democratic elected officials have yet to see the light. In order to protect our incumbent leaders and grow those education reform caucuses, we must maintain a robust federal PAC.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform - Colorado [Small Donor Committee]

Democrats for Education Reform - Colorado [Small Donor Committee]

Colorado has been the site of truly watershed education reform work in recent years. From the success of the Great Teachers & Leaders bill to reimagining the state’s role in promoting early literacy, state-level legislation has established thoughtful processes for achieving meaningful goals. DFER’s near-term electoral efforts in Colorado will focus on the Denver school board races – these leaders are the ones responsible for ensuring that Denver continues to pursue meaningful and substantive policies that will improve student achievement city-wide.

DFER’s unique structure for supporting education reform leaders in Colorado is called a “small donor committee.” The small donor committee can only accept $50 from any individual donor per year but, in exchange for maintaining that low limit, can contribute more to a candidate than if it were a regular PAC. To support our small donor committee, it is imperative that DFER solicit contributions from as many individual donors as possible.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform - Illinois

Democrats for Education Reform - Illinois

Schools in Illinois – and particularly in Chicago – have been a focus of tremendous attention in the past few years. Many promising changes are underway, but they will require political support to be fully realized. This year’s school actions, new leadership in Chicago Public Schools, and a handful of legislative initiatives in Springfield promise to bring yet more attention, and DFER’s IL PAC will be an invaluable resource for supporting strong leadership.

Campaign finance law in Illinois continues to evolve, and state PACs are subject to new limits on the size of each contribution. Yet competitive elections remain expensive, so each individual gift to DFER’s IL PAC is even more valuable than in the past.

Image of Indiana Democrats for Education Reform

Indiana Democrats for Education Reform

Indiana’s teacher evaluation and parental choice mechanisms have been completely reimagined in recent years. For the state’s education reforms to be sustainable, though, they must have the support of a bipartisan political coalition. Due to current Republican control of the legislature and governor’s office, some of Indiana’s changes have had a decidedly conservative flavor, which has alienated many would-be reformers among the state’s Democrats. Meanwhile, reform-minded Democrats sometimes find themselves marginalized by the Party leadership.

By moving the needle toward supporting more progressive reforms, DFER’s IN PAC will carve out a safe space for Democratic reformers and ensure the longevity of reforms that benefit all students.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform - MA

Democrats for Education Reform - MA

Despite the existence of a small constellation of highly effective charter schools and the state’s strong statewide academic performance, Massachusetts has a lot of work to do in order to close the achievement gap. Recent reforms have often been realized by cobbling together provisional alliances in the legislature, rather than building a lasting coalition. As the state’s best charter operators expand dramatically and a new evaluation system matures, the Bay State will need such a coalition to support successful implementation.

Democrats dominate at every level of government in Massachusetts and tight contribution limits keep campaign spending relatively low. As a result, DFER’s MA PAC is a highly effective vehicle for forging ties between elected education reformers.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform - NY

Democrats for Education Reform - NY

Expect changes in New York, as Mayor Bloomberg reaches the end of his mayoral term. Many of New York City’s reforms have been implemented at the discretion of the mayor, meaning effective advocacy at both the state and local levels will be necessary to continue the current momentum.

New York is a deep blue state, but the number of key players who will control future reform legislation is relatively small. By strengthening our relationships with those power players, DFER’s NY PAC will help to preserve recent successes and further move the needle in a rapidly changing political environment.

Image of Democrats for Education Reform - Washington

Democrats for Education Reform - Washington

By Democrats and for Democrats, DFER WA PAC aims to elect and support Democrats at all levels of office who are ready and willing to challenge an educational status quo that is failing so many students, especially students in poverty. In this very blue state, most Democrats avoid “hot” education reform issues like the plague. Very few elected Democrats expressed support for the charter school initiative that voters approved in November 2012 because doing so would have incurred the wrath of the heavy-handed, heavily-funded teachers union and their labor allies.

The aim of DFER WA PAC is to elect and support courageous Democrats who are willing and able to lean into education reform and fight for the policies and the resources that are best for students – even when the best way is not the most politically expedient way.

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