When Teach for America alumnus Bill Ferguson took on six-term incumbent George Della for a Maryland Senate seat two years ago, he benefited from the energetic support of his fellow Teach for America alumni—but he had to overcome the strident opposition of the teachers’ unions, Stateline reports.
Ferguson upset Della in the Democratic primary and went on to win the general election, making him only the second Teach for America alumnus to secure a seat in a state legislature—following Mike Johnston, who joined the Colorado Senate in 2009.
Johnston and Ferguson aren’t likely to be alone for long: At least six TFA alumni are running for state legislatures this year, and many others are running for boards of education. Like Ferguson and Johnston, most of these former teachers likely will have to overcome union opposition to win.
The recent college graduates who are accepted into Teach for America are placed in underperforming schools across the country.