Roughly 10,000 teachers from across the country have gathered at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center to hear 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates discuss their education policies at the Strong Public Schools Presidential Forum.
Held as part of the National Education Association’s annual assembly, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García is moderating the forum, and members of the national teachers union submitted questions for the candidates.
Teachers at the event told News 88.7 they want to hear about basic education issues like class size and national policy matters.
Christina Medina, a teacher from Colorado, said she hopes the candidates discuss immigration issues.
“When I think of my students in my classroom — I work with a predominantly Latino population — and so the first thing that comes to mind is immigration,” she said. “So I want to hear their ideas on immigration reform, especially considering some of my students are concerned about their parents or other family members being deported.”
The candidates speaking at the forum are: former Vice President Joe Biden, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Sen. Kamala Harris, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Rep. Tim Ryan, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
It’s the second time that Democratic presidential candidates have stopped in Houston for a high-profile campaign event in recent months. In April, eight Democratic candidates spoke at the She the People Presidential Forum at Texas Southern University.
Though no Democrat has won Texas in decades, Harris County is a top draw for candidates seeking money, according to The Houston Chronicle. The paper reports that in 2012, Houston-area donors gave $14 million to Democrats — that number almost doubled in 2018, reaching $27 million.
The forum is set to run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST. More details on the event are available, here.
This post will be updated throughout the afternoon.