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Elevating Education in Politics: How Teacher Strikes Shape Congressional Election Campaigns

Teacher strikes have gained national attention with the “#RedforEd” movement. Such strikes are polarizing events that could serve to elevate education as a political priority or cast education politics in a negative light. We investigate this empirically by collecting original panel data on U.S. teacher strikes, which we link to congressional election campaign advertisements. Election ads provide a useful window into political discourse because they are costly to sponsors, consequential for voter behavior, and predictive of future legislative agendas. Using a differences-in-differences framework, we find that teacher strikes dramatically increase education issue salience, with impacts concentrated among positively-framed ads. Effects are driven by strikes lasting only a few days and occurring in battleground areas with highly-contested elections.

Keywords
teacher strikes; politics of education; political discourse; polarization
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/zv3x-vz46

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Lyon, Melissa Arnold, and Matthew A. Kraft. (). Elevating Education in Politics: How Teacher Strikes Shape Congressional Election Campaigns. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-482). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/zv3x-vz46

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