Superintendent of Education Mick Zais, a Republican, is expressing disappointment after the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union, voted July 4 to support Pres. Barack Obama's 2012 re-election bid.
In late May, Zais wrote to the organization, saying it was a bad idea to endorse a candidate so early.
“I am deeply concerned that this action sets a terrible example for the students across the country because only one possible candidate will be considered for endorsement by your labor union,” Zais wrote to NEA president Dennis Van Roekel. “This decision, if approved by your membership, effectively slams the door shut to all other presidential candidates before a single one has been duly nominated by a political party or filed necessary legal documents.”
The NEA sent a response letter to Zais, expressing appreciation for his input.
While the NEA has a South Carolina chapter, state law bars educators and other state employees from collective bargaining, making the S.C. chapter less powerful than other state chapters.