Educators Cheer Vice President Biden and Gov. Beshear for Supporting Public Education
RA Delegates Also Honor Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for Standing Strong for Public Schools
July 03, 3011
By Will Potter
The current attacks on teacher's unions are attacks on students, educators and fundamental American values, Vice President Joe Biden told thousands of cheering educators on Sunday.
"It is one of the biggest scams in modern American history," Biden said, referring to the assaults on collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Ohio and many other states.
"We should be listening to you, not lecturing you," he said later. "We should be embracing you, not pushing you aside. You are not the problem."
Biden's moving address was met with cheers and standing ovations from the nearly 8,000 delegates at the NEA's Representative Assembly.
"The middle class needs more leaders like Vice President Biden," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "He knows that the key to economic prosperity for all is a vibrant middle class, and without organized labor, the middle class will not grow and thrive."
And we could use more leaders like the governor of Kentucky, one of the many states that has faced sweeping cuts to public education. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear stood strong for Kentucky's students and schools, and fought to preserve resources for K-12 education.
Beshear was honored on Sunday with the America's Greatest Education Governor Award. The annual award recognizes and honors governors who have made major, state-level education strides that improve public schools.
"The most important investment a state can make is in the education of its children, and that's why I have fought hard to protect the basic funding for our classrooms despite nine rounds of budget cuts," Besehear said. "I am very pleased our efforts are being honored, and pledge to keep fighting for Kentucky's future."
In addition to their business at NEA's Annual Meeting, teachers and other school staff have been rolling up their sleeves to help needy families across the host city. Educators have been cleaning, building, sharing food and coordinating donations with volunteer groups across the host city of Chicago.
Delegates voted Sunday overwhelmingly to re-elect President Dennis Van Roekel and Vice President Lily Eskelsen, who will both serve 3-year terms. Princess Moss and Earl Wiman were elected to the Executive Committee. Catherine M. Leisek was elected as higher education at-large representative to the Board of Directors, and there will be a run-off election between Roger P. Davis and Lisa L. Ossian. For ESP at-large, Jim McClure, Jolene E. Tripp, Jameel Williams and Donna Nielsen were elected, and there will be a run-off election between Marguerite B. Jones and Leslie A. Dake.
Coming up tomorrow is the Education Support Professional of the year award and the 4th of July celebration.