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Idaho educators soundly reject controversial “Luna Laws”

WASHINGTON - November 06, 2012 -

Following is a statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on Idaho’s Propositions 1, 2, and 3.

“Voters in Idaho overwhelmingly rejected irresponsible and ill-conceived education policies that would have shortchanged students. Voters striking down Propositions 1, 2, and 3 sent a message to politicians and special interests who think they know how to run Idaho’s schools without spending much time in the classrooms: We will stand up for what is right for our students and schools.

The Idaho Education Association, NEA’s state affiliate, successfully mobilized its more than 11,000 members and families to roll back the three over-the-top initiatives imposed by a Republican-led legislature. The “Luna Laws,” named after state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, would have replaced teachers with laptops, rewarded teachers for “teaching to the test,” and silenced the voices of educators in matters related to what happens in Idaho’s schools and classrooms.

Why Are Educators Involved in Elections?

NEA members’ top priority is ensuring that every child has access to a quality public school. That priority extends beyond the classroom, and it means educators speaking up about decisions that take place outside of school that affect their ability to educate their students. Local, state, and national politics have a direct impact on the quality of our public schools; speaking up for students requires speaking up in the political process.

Highlights on NEA in Idaho

  • Some 2,000 Idaho Education Association members and friends took part in one or more activities throughout this campaign.
  • Since September 13, 2012, volunteers have logged more than 1,800 hours on phones talking to 58,000 Idaho voters.
  • Volunteers talked face to face with 4000 voters.
  • Volunteers distributed more than 20,000 pieces of literature.

Facts on NEA’s Election Activity Nationally

  • One out of every 100 Americans is an NEA member. 
  • In 2008, 1 in every 50 votes cast came from an NEA member. One in every 34 votes cast came from an NEA household. 
  • Our members live in every state, in every congressional district, and in every precinct.
  • Nearly 500,000 NEA members signed up in some way to be involved in the Obama for America campaign, including direct action such as phone banking, canvassing, and conducting voter registration.
  • NEA was the first union to endorse President Obama for a second term. We did so in 2011, meaning we could gear up and start educating and organizing our members. 
  • Educators are highly reliable voters. On average, NEA member voter turnout is 15 percent higher than the general public in presidential elections.
  • The vast majority of teachers are women. In fact, 74 percent of NEA members are women—a critical constituency in Decision 2012.

·         NEA has produced several online ads that have been seen by more than 13 million people.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers 202-822-7823,