OEA FUND FAQ and Candidate Endorsements

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The OEA Fund for Children and Public Education (OEA Fund) is the OEA’s political action committee (PAC) for members of the Ohio Education Association. The Fund is entirely supported by voluntary contributions from OEA members, members’ families, and OEA staff to strengthen Ohio’s public schools and improve the lives of public educators and the students they serve. At the direction of the OEA members who govern how OEA uses the PAC, the Fund makes contributions to candidates who are recommended for endorsement by the OEA members across the state who serve on the OEA Fund’s Screening Committees. These recommendations are made entirely based on a candidate’s positions on public education issues, regardless of political ideology or party affiliation.

OEA Members can view the list of candidates recommended by their fellow educators to date by clicking here. This list is updated frequently as more endorsement decisions are made, so please check back regularly.

How does the OEA Fund select which candidates it will support?
Decisions about which candidates to support are made by OEA members across the state through the OEA Fund screening and endorsement process. Candidates from both parties are asked to fill out questionnaires describing their positions on education issues, and those who are state officeholders are also rated on their education votes in the Ohio General Assembly. Candidates are then interviewed by OEA members who work in the district or area where candidates are seeking office. Based on the candidates’ views on these key issues, the OEA Fund State Council and District Screening Committees vote on whether to endorse specific candidates.

Which political party does the OEA Fund support?
Neither. The OEA Fund makes contributions to pro-public education candidates who support public educators’ rights to advocate for their colleagues, students, and public schools – regardless of their party or ideology. In fact, from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021, contributions to Democrats amounted to 57 percent, while contributions to Republicans amounted to 37 percent, with the remainder of contributions going to non-party affiliated candidates. What matters the most for decisions to support candidates with OEA Fund endorsement and contributions are candidates’ positions on issues affecting public schools, our members and their rights, and the students we serve. Nothing else.

Are Member dues used to support candidates’ campaigns?
No. Your dues will never be used to make contributions to political candidates. That’s the law. Only funds voluntarily donated by OEA members, staff, and their families can be used to make campaign contributions to our recommended candidates.

How can I decide who should be endorsed?
Every OEA endorsement is made by members, not by OEA leaders. It is you, our local members, who interview and ultimately recommend candidates for endorsement. We encourage all members who want to shape the decisions about who our organization should support to become involved in your OEA Fund screening committee. Ask your LRC or contact OEA Government Relations at govtsrv@ohea.org to find out how you can participate in an OEA Fund screening near you

Why should I give to the OEA Fund?
When you join with other OEA members through the OEA Fund, you make your voice and concerns heard. You help elect people who will work on behalf of public education when making legislative decisions. Elected officials make important decisions about your students’ learning conditions and your working conditions— standardized testing, your evaluation, the number of students in your classroom, the amount of funding made available to support school lunch programs, children’s healthcare and after school programs, even the size of your paychecks. Through the OEA Fund, members use their collective voice to speak and act together to influence the outcome of important elections and policy debates to improve public education in Ohio.