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President Obama nominates Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services

NEA President Van Roekel applauds Sebelius’ commitment to students and their families

WASHINGTON - March 02, 2009 -

President Barack Obama has nominated Kathleen Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, to be secretary of health and human services. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel applauded the cabinet nomination and the administration’s continued efforts to protect the basic right of every student to quality health care and a quality education.

The following can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

 “Gov. Sebelius has shown she understands the complexities of both the health and education systems, and their joint impact on students. She served as the chair of the Education Commission of the States and as the Kansas insurance commissioner from 1994–2002. And as a popular two-term Democratic governor in a traditionally Republican state, she campaigned tirelessly to bring diverse groups to the table in the name of reform. That’s exactly what is needed right now. The NEA and our 3.2 million members are eager to see much-needed attention finally given to the health of students in our classrooms, and we know that she will remain a stalwart defender of children and their families.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Will Potter
(202) 822-7823,