WASHINGTON – The political committee of the National Education Association (search) recommended on Thursday that the 2.7-million member teachers union endorse Democrat John Kerry (search) for president.
NEA delegates will vote on the recommendation during the union's annual meeting in July.
The union's move toward Kerry, the Massachusetts senator and presumptive Democratic nominee, is not a surprise. Since 1976, when it shifted into an active role in national politics, the union has given every presidential endorsement to a Democrat.
The NEA has clashed with President Bush over elements of his No Child Left Behind law and plans to sue his administration over what it considers unfunded mandates in the law. The union also has a difficult relationship with Bush's education secretary, Rod Paige, who in February referred to the group as a "terrorist organization," a remark for which he later apologized.
The American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teachers union, has endorsed Kerry.