Mitt Romney has pledged to push back against teachers unions as president.
The former Massachusetts governor said on "Fox News Sunday," "But the role I see that ought to remain in the president's agenda with regards to education is to push back against the federal teachers unions." He continued, "Those federal teachers unions have too much power, in some cases, they overwhelm the states, they overwhelm the local school districts. We have got to put the kids first and put these teachers unions behind."
Romney said he would not "necessarily" eliminate the Department of Education, but said that it may combined with agencies and that its "reach" into the states has to be "pulled back."
Romney also criticized teachers unions in the context of the No Child Left Behind Act. "I support the principle of having states test their kids ... I did support No Child Left Behind and do support continuing to test our kids," he said. "I want to know which school districts are succeeding and which ones are failing and where they are failing. I want there to be action taken to get the teacher unions out and to get the kids once again receiving the education they need."
The former Massachusetts governor continued his criticism of unions on Sunday at a town hall meeting in Vernon Hills, Ill. "We should pay our beginning teachers more," he said, according to Crystal Lake Patch. "The national unions are too interested in benefits for the older teachers."
The National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the U.S., has endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. The American Federation of Teachers followed suit with an endorsement in February.