Liberal Bias at Schools: Where does it Come From?

By T. Fair | United States

Schools across America, and perhaps other countries, are questionably left-leaning in their educators, staff and even curriculum. It may differ based on area, but statistically, the majority of educators are Democrats. One source, Verdant Labs, cites the Federal Election Commission in a breakdown of teachers’ political party affiliations. However, it only lists how many are Democrats compared to how many are Republicans.

As for the type of school, there are 74 democratic pre-school teachers for every 26 Republican pre-school teachers, 85 Democrats to 15 Republicans in elementary school, and 87 Democrats to 13 Republicans in high school. 

The least democratic type of teacher was a music teacher. But still, Democrats outnumber by a rate of 69 to 31. Health educators were most strongly Democrat, with 99 to every one Republican. Math and science split the difference, at 85 to 15 and 87 to 13, respectively. Clearly, our educators lean left.

Does this mean that education itself is biased? Before delving deeper into all of the stories across the nation of specific schools having a strong left-wing bias, I interviewed a number of teachers and staff members about the issue.

A California principal and vice principal agreed that there is political bias on school campuses. When I asked them which side they thought the bias was on, for the most part, they both answered that they thought in general, it was pretty balanced, and that it depended on the area. I then asked them what they thought brought out a political bias in educators, and they both responded with an answer along the same lines:

“It’s because we teach who we are. Teachers are still human, and with a job where you’re constantly talking to other people, it’s kind of hard not to bring out yourself a bit, and what your own personal views are.” Although this wasn’t exactly what I was getting at, this was useful information all the same

Next, I asked a school librarian.  She also agreed there were forms of political bias on campuses around America, having the idea that it was dominantly left. However, she had a different take on the reasons for this. When questioned, she stated that teachers need to be open-minded, and people on the left are a lot more open-minded, typically.

Another woman I interviewed, who actually claimed to be registered as an independent who had libertarian leanings, immediately responded that there was a strong left-wing bias, especially in some classrooms she’s been around. This included her school of employment as well as a nationwide trend.

So, we’ve heard the opinions of teachers from asking them directly. What else could be the cause? I strongly agree with the statement “we teach who we are”, but what makes the teachers who they are exactly?

One argument I’ve both heard frequently and thought about and agreed with myself is that people on the left are typically more interested in trying to help others, and not as interested in pay. Teaching is a job that is both “dedicated to helping others” and does not always pay well. As the left is less focused on the free market, this could be a possible factor. The average public school teacher salary for the 2017-2018 school year was $60,483, according to the National Education Association. This is slightly below the 2017 Median household income at $61,372.

Another possible argument is that Democrats are more interested in paying schools more. A poll from Education Next states that only 33% of Republicans wish to increase spending on public schools, while 58% of Democrats wish to increase spending. The Democratic Party platform itself says “Democrats want every child – no matter their zip code – to have access to a quality public K-12 education.” This indicates that Democrats are strongly in favor of the public schools that these teachers are working at. Republicans, though, often support the government having less influence on education.

It simply would make sense that a school that is run by the government would advocate for more government. This is not to say that Republicans legitimately advocate for a smaller or better government. Despite this, Democrats generally give greater support for public schools. One passage of an article by The College Fix sums this view up well:

It’s no surprise that a system that is state-funded and state-run advocates for a bigger government. The public school system is a microcosm of the socialist system, one that is bureaucratic, wasteful, and does not serve its original and intended purpose. Education is the cornerstone of Western society, a place where our youth are taught to think broadly and to develop their own unique worldview. Instead, we are often taught what to believe instead of how to think.

Whether you’re a student that’s with the left or not, it is important to keep an open and free-thinking mind. Nobody should blindly support a popular idea, whether it is left, right, or anything else.

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