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Educators celebrate victories for California students and working families

WASHINGTON - November 07, 2012 -

Following is a statement by National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel on the election of veteran educator Mark Takano, the passage of Proposition 30, and voters’ defeat of Proposition 32.

“We’re proud to join Golden State voters in celebrating three important victories. The race to represent the newly created 41st congressional district of California was one of most watched and most important in this election cycle. We’re pleased and excited that Mark Takano, a life-long educator, has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Mark knows from personal experience the challenges we face in schools and classrooms across the country. We look forward to working with him in Congress to ensure educational opportunities that really do improve student learning and success and help to strengthen the middle class.

 “Another positive outcome of Tuesday’s election is the passage of Proposition 30 in California. Voters banded together to avert drastic cuts to the state’s education system by increasing personal income taxes on high-income taxpayers for seven years and increasing sales tax by a quarter cent (excluding food and gas) for four years. After years of cuts in education funding, Proposition 30 will make a positive difference in California’s education landscape by providing billions in needed funding. The measure also will help to guarantee local public safety and balance the state budget.

“California voters also rejected Proposition 32, the initiative that was an outright attack on workers’ rights and organized labor. These are big wins for students, public education, and working families.”


Why Are Educators Involved in Elections?

NEA members’ top priority is ensuring that every student 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.


Highlights on NEA in California

 • There are more than 325,000 NEA members in California

• In the last three days NEA members contacted more than 145,000 voters and volunteers distributed more than 1 million door hangers.


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 move 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 members turn out 15% 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.

 • NEA has produced online ads that have been seen by dozens of people.

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CONTACT: Staci Maiers, 202-822-7823