Foundation-Funded Education Campaign Moves Forward

Foundation-Funded Education Campaign Moves Forward

Ed in '08, an effort funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates and Eli and Edythe Broad foundations to make education the top priority with voters during the 2008 campaign, has established a strong presence in key primary states, Bloomberg.com reports.

Strong American Schools, the nonpartisan organization running the Ed in '08 campaign, faces an uphill battle, given that voters are already preoccupied with issues such as the war in Iraq, the economy, and health care. A December 11, 2007, poll by ABC News and the Washington Post showed that only 1 percent of voters identified education as their overriding concern in the presidential campaign. Among New Hampshire residents planning to vote in the state's primary on January 8, education tied with the economy for second among domestic issues, behind health care. In Iowa, 6 percent of Democrats made education their top concern, up from 3 percent in November.

The goal of Ed in '08, which is planning a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, is to prod the next president into "using the bully pulpit to drive American consciousness around this issue," said Marc Lampkin, executive director of Strong American Schools. "[With] the next president, we have an opportunity to begin that process."

William McQuillen. "Gates Donates $30 Million to Make Education a Campaign Issue." Bloomberg News 01/03/2008.