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Educators Celebrate Tim Kaine Victory in Virginia

WASHINGTON - November 06, 2012 -

Following is a statement by National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel on Democrat Tim Kaine’s U.S. Senate election win in Virginia.

The election of Democrat Tim Kaine to the U.S. Senate is a victory for students and for public education. At a time of increasing class sizes, inadequate school resources, and attacks on public schools, voters made clear that they want members of Congress who will make positive changes to benefit all students. As governor, Kaine expanded pre-kindergarten, championed higher education and job training. He favors a balanced approach to deficit cutting and says he'd allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire for incomes more than $500,000 a year.

Why Are Educators Involved in Elections?

NEA members’ top priority is ensuring that every child has access to a quality public school. That responsibility extends beyond the classroom, and means speaking up about decisions that take place outside of school yet 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.

Facts on NEA in Virginia

  • There are more than 60,000 NEA members in Virginia.
  • More than 8,300 members took action to support Tim Kaine and President Obama in Virginia.
  • NEA members volunteered door-to-door or through phone banks in 87 of Virginia’s 95 counties.
  • NEA funded more than $700,000 in independent television advertising on education and healthcare issues to support Tim Kaine’s candidacy.

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.
  • NEA 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 labor union to move to endorse President Obama for a second term.  NEA did so in 2011 to gear up and start educating and organizing its members. 
  • Educators are highly reliable voters.  On average, NEA members turn out 15 percent higher than the general public in Presidential elections.
  • When it comes to political action, NEA members are involved. Almost half a million educators, NEA members, have been involved in some way in the presidential election.
  • The vast majority of teachers are women. In fact, 74 percent of NEA members are women—a critical constituency in Decision 2012.


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CONTACT: Staci Maiers, 202-822-7823,