Senate Democratic leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, announced the support of the Arizona Federation of Teachers, the Arizona affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), as well as three local affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA): the Tempe Secondary Education Association, the Kyrene Education Association and the Paradise Valley Education Association.
These organizations join others endorsing Schapira, including former Arizona Education Association presidents Penny Kotterman and John Wright, National Education Association state directors Janie Hydrick and Estevan Carreon, Tempe Elementary Education Association president Katie Barnes, Paradise Valley Education Association president Chris Meza, Phoenix Union Classroom Teachers Association past president Ed Bufford, Chandler Education Association past president Dawn Koberstein, Kyrene Education Association past president Erin Kirchoff, Mesa Education Association past president Kathy Ray, Tempe Secondary Education Association past president Kim McElwain and Arizona Education Association Region 2 director Tammie Pursley.
AFT represents 1.5 million members from more than 3,000 local affiliates. CEA, KEA, MEA, PUCTA, PVEA, and TSEA are all local affiliates of the National Education Association in Congressional District Nine.
Schapira is a former high school teacher, who taught in both the Paradise Valley Unified School District and the Phoenix Union High School District.
He is currently a governing board member in the Tempe Union High School District, the ranking democrat on the Senate Education Committee and a faculty associate at Arizona State University.