Person

George Sheridan

Occupation:

Labor activist, educator

Employer:

National Education Association

Nationality:

American

George Sheridan is a left-of-center labor union activist and member of the executive committee of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the United States. Sheridan formerly worked as a United Farm Workers activist, a K-12 schoolteacher in the Black Oak Mine Unified School District of El Dorado County, California and as a course instructor at California State University, Sacramento and the University of California, Davis.

Background

In the 1960s, while in his teens, Sheridan participated in marches supporting the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law in 1965. Later, Sheridan was an organizer and national boycott coordinator for the United Farm Workers for eight years. During this period, he received training from labor activist Fred Ross Sr., founder of the Community Service Organization, and began working as a K-12 teacher in the Black Oak Mine Unified School District of El Dorado County, California. Sheridan later became the president of the Black Oak Mine Teachers Association, a local-level labor union. Sheridan has also taught graduate courses at California State University, Sacramento and the University of California, Davis. [1]

National Education Association

In July 2014, Sheridan was elected to the NEA Executive Committee for a three-year term and was reelected to that position in July 2017. The committee is comprised of nine members, three of whom are executive officers like Sheridan, and six of whom are elected by the NEA Representative Assembly. Generally, the committee is responsible for the Association’s policy and activities in the place of its board of directors between the board’s quarterly meetings. [2][3]

The NEA is American largest labor union, representing roughly three million active and retired teachers with affiliate groups in every state. [4][5] Along with its associated political action committees, the NEA contributed roughly $143.5 million to federal candidates for political office and other political action committees between 1990 and February of 2019. The NEA also regularly supports a variety of left-of-center nonprofits. [6][7] The NEA also engages in advocacy campaigns opposing school vouchers and charter schools and supporting increased government involvement in education, especially through Common Core Standards. [8][9][10][11]

Activities

On April 30, 2019, Sheridan addressed the Utah Education Association House of Delegates, encouraging its members to develop initiatives to address purported systemic racial injustice within the education system. Sheridan alleged that the American education system was filled with “white privilege,” and “white supremacy culture.” In his address, Sheridan noted that public school funding is typically based on local property taxes and that therefore “inevitably…students from wealthy white families are far more likely to have great public schools than students from black and brown families,” implying that income disparities which purportedly affect education quality often contain racial basis. [12]

On July 16, 2019, the NEA published a short video on its YouTube channel, highlighting Sheridan and discussing his work with the organization while encouraging others to become involved. [13]

References

  1. “Executive Committee, National Education Association George Sheridan.” National Education Association. Accessed December 12, 2020.http://ftp.arizonaea.org/home/60357.htm ^
  2. “Executive Committee, National Education Association George Sheridan.” National Education Association. Accessed December 12, 2020.http://ftp.arizonaea.org/home/60357.htm ^
  3. “California Educator Re-elected to NEA Executive Committee.” National Education Association. Accessed December 13, 2020.http://ftp.arizonaea.org/home/71001.htm ^
  4. “Our Members.” NEA. December 13, 2020.http://www.nea.org/home/1594.htm. ^
  5. “About NEA.” NEA. Accessed December 13, 2020.http://www.nea.org/home/2580.htm. ^
  6. Antonucci, Mike. “How Much Does NEA Spend on Politics?” The Greenroom. October 18, 2010. Accessed December 13, 2020. http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/10/18/how-much-does-nea-spend-on-politics/ ^
  7. Center for Responsive Politics. “Top Organization Contributors.” OpenSecrets.org. February 8, 2017. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?cycle=ALL ^
  8. NEA.” NEA. Accessed December 13, 2020.http://www.nea.org/. ^
  9. “Vouchers.” NEA. Accessed December 12, 2020http://www.nea.org/home/16378.htm. ^
  10. “Child Nutrition.” NEA. Accessed December 12, 2020.http://www.nea.org/home/38649.htm. ^
  11. “Our Position & Actions.” NEA. Accessed December 12, 2020.http://www.nea.org/home/56614.htm. ^
  12. Sheridan, Gorge. “Racism: Our Generation’s Challenge, remarks to the 2019 UEA House of Delegates by NEA Executive Committee member George Sheridan.” Utah Education Association. April 30, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2020. https://www.myuea.org/Articles/racism_our_generations_challenge_remarks_to_the_2019_uea_house_of_delegates_by_nea_executive_committee_member_george_sheridan.aspx ^
  13. “#RedforEd Spotlight – George Sheridan.” YouTube: National Educational Association. July 16, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCiszv_bc1o&ab_channel=NationalEducationAssociation ^

Connected Organizations

  1. National Education Association (NEA) (Labor Union)
    Member, Executive Committee
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