Seeking the union's endorsement means answering questions on everything from vouchers to testing to the minimum wage.
Even so, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash, the influential co-authors of that chamber's bipartisan bill, still have their eyes on the prize.
We've spent the week focusing on the timing for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization, as well as appropriations and campaign news. But lots of other federal news happened, too.
Now that the Obama administration's competitive grant programs are on the wane, can districts sustain the work funded through those efforts?
Two more candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, made their case to the union Thursday.
A coalition of 36 organizations say in a letter to senators that without changes, the bipartisan ESEA measure "will not fulfill its functions as a civil rights law."
Florida got flexibility on English Language Learners and accountability. Now at least seven other states are also asking for similar for those students.
The subcommittee markup is the first to occur in more than three years, as Congress has been dysfunctional in its ability to draft fiscal year spending bills.
The House Appropriations Committee bill would fund the Education Department to the tune of $64.4 billion, which is $2.8 billion below the fiscal year 2015 level and $6.4 billion below the president's budget request.
Trump also ran a for-profit college that was sued by New York for misleading students. And he's a fan of school choice.