This weekend, five Republican presidential candidates — including front-runner Donald Trump and his leading rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — took the stage at a Moms for Liberty summit in Philadelphia, highlighting their conviction that educational issues will mobilize their base in the 2024 election. It also signals how polarized education politics have become — and spotlights the veneration with which conservatives now regard Moms for Liberty, a group that didn’t exist three years ago but which today boasts more than 100,000 members across 44 states.

In its ascent, the group has accrued tremendous influence in the GOP. Although Moms for Liberty does not plan to endorse a presidential candidate — and its founders have not asked for specific actions they’d like the next president to take — chapter leaders are meeting frequently with various campaigns, and the group is assuming a role as one of the new 2024 gatekeepers.

The star-studded roster of speakers at the summit shows candidates “have recognized that the number one domestic policy right now is the concern over the threat to parental rights and the failure of public education,” Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich said.

Co-founder Tiffany Justice said, “It means that, no matter who the nominee is, parents and students will be winning.”

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