American Federation of Teachers

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American Federation of Teachers
American Federation of Teachers.JPG
Basic facts
Location:Washington, D.C.
Top official:Randi Weingarten
Year founded:1916
Website:Official website
Features of Congress

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The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. The AFT represents a wide range of members including "pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals."[1]

Mission statement

"The mission of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of our members and their families; to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic and social aspirations; to strengthen the institutions in which we work; to improve the quality of the services we provide; to bring together all members to assist and support one another; and to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in our union, in our nation and throughout the world."[1]


The American Federation of Teachers was founded in 1916. The organization currently represents 1.5 million members.[2]


The AFT is governed by their 43 member executive council and by delegates to the union’s biennial convention. Council members are elected and are in charge of setting organizational policies.[1]

AFT Officers:[3]

  • President: Randi Weingarten
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Lorretta Johnson
  • Executive Vice President: Francine Lawrence

2012 elections

According to, the American Federation of Teachers spent $8,578,462 in the 2012 election cycle.[4]

Endorsed candidates

In the 2012 election cycle, the American Federation of Teachers supported the following candidates:[4]


Top 5 largest American Federation of Teachers expenditures in 2012[5]
Candidate Party State Office For Against Total Desired Result
Ron Barber Democratic Party AZ House $20,000 $0 $20,000
Barack Obama Democratic Party N/A President $19,563 $0 $19,563
Tammy Duckworth Democratic Party IL House $15,500 $0 $15,500
Sherrod Brown Democratic Party OH Senate $15,250 $0 $15,250
Bob Casey Democratic Party PA Senate $15,250 $0 $15,250

Ballot measures


Call for Arne Duncan's improvement

The American Federation of Teachers passed a resolution on July 13, 2014, calling for Education Department Secretary Arne Duncan's resignation if he didn't show improvement under a plan proposed by President Barack Obama. The resolution urged the department to move away from No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top's "test-and-punish" tactics to move toward a system of supporting the improvement of teachers and students. AFT President Randi Weingarten claimed the vote represented the union saying, "'Enough is enough.' Teachers are evaluated and their future livelihoods are linked to that. And when they fall short, they should have a chance to improve. And that’s what this special order represents." A department spokesperson said of the vote, "the transformation that educators and policymakers are leading to prepare all students for college and careers is incredibly difficult, and too often the adults fight about how to best help the kids."[6]

The vote came just after a July 4, 2014 motion passed by the National Education Association seeking Duncan's resignation.[7]

Recent news

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See also

External links