The influence of teacher unions on educational policy can be called strong. First and foremost, teacher unions significantly impact how teachers view their work. Much of the activity of teachers unions is aimed at raising salaries and protecting the rights of teachers, even though such activity can lead to protests that limit or suspend the work of teachers with students. Improving the quality of education is, of course, also on the agenda of teacher unions, but there is a tension between fighting for rights that is most beneficial to teachers and seeking reform that is most beneficial to students. Teacher unions also influence teaching and other educational practices in electoral politics, reform initiatives, and disseminating information on best practices.
Teacher unions engage in direct political action at the national, state, and local levels to ensure that candidates who support their priorities are elected and promote or oppose the adoption of voting issues, such as supporting increased funding for education. Both National Teacher Unions have programmatic initiatives to improve reading education and school safety and recruit teachers to certify professional teaching standards. This organizations provide their members with useful information about educational practices. Teacher unions publish articles in leading newspapers, support cable and public television programs that highlight the importance of good teaching, and form cooperation with other educational organizations to promote research-based methods.
Thus, teacher unions have a strong influence on educational policy. On the one hand, the struggle for the rights of teachers can negatively affect the educational process due to possible teachers’ strikes. On the other hand, teacher unions can influence the adoption of laws that improve the quality of education. Teacher unions also positively impact the exchange of experience and the development of competent initiatives to improve the education process.