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The NEA's $40 Million Political Down Payment

A whopping $40 million.

That's how much the National Education Association is prepared to spend in this crucial 2008 election year. Read more about that in EdWeek's latest political story, by my colleague David Hoff.

That money still isn't devoted to a specific candidate, and as Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform wisely notes in the story, the NEA is likely waiting to back a candidate who is sure to win the nomination. The American Federation of Teachers, meanwhile, has put its money on Hillary Clinton.

The $40 million committment from NEA is almost as much as Bill Gates and the Broad Foundation have pledged as part of their ED in '08 campaign to make education a top-tier issue in the presidential campaign.

The two groups—the NEA and the neutral ED in '08—have different strategies, to be sure. But it will interesting to see if all of these millions translate into more serious talk about education from the candidates.

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