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

Authors
Melissa Arnold Lyon,
Matthew A. Kraft
Year of publication
2021
Publication
EdWorkingPapers.com

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.

Suggested Citation:

Lyon, M.A., & Kraft, M.A. (2021). Elevating Education in Politics: How Teacher Strikes Shape Congressional Election Campaigns. EdWorkingPapers.com

Media mentions: