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NEA Applauds AT&T: Aspire for Championing Children and Education

AT&T Announces Funding to Help Curb America’s Dropout Rate


WASHINGTON - April 17, 2008 -

A new $100 million education initiative will seek solutions to a problem NEA President Reg Weaver calls a “national crisis”—America’s alarming dropout rate.

AT&T: Aspire will help underwrite 100 state and community dropout prevention summits led by America’s Promise Alliance.  The summits will involve educational experts, business, faith, nonprofit and community leaders and will be held in all 50 states.

Other components of AT&T: Aspire—created by the AT&T Foundation—include the following:
• Grants to help high schools retain and better prepare students for college and/or the workforce;
• Job shadowing opportunities for 100,000 students; and
• Research to find solutions to the dropout crisis.

In October 2006, NEA unveiled its 12-point dropout prevention plan.  It also called on everyone from parents to business leaders to rally together to curb the alarming trends.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Reg Weaver:

“AT&T is showing our friends in the private sector the meaning of corporate social responsibility.  Improving our public schools and ending the dropout crisis is a shared responsibility.  Educators cannot solve this problem alone.  Solutions should involve all aspects of our community—parents, children and educators as well as community, faith and business leaders.

“The health of our communities and our economy depend on a system of excellent public schools.  I applaud the AT&T Foundation for recognizing that investing in our children and public schools is not only good for students, but also boosts our ailing economy and society as a whole.  It’s an investment that will yield big dividends in the future.”

For more information about NEA’s 12-Point Dropout Prevention Plan:
http://www.nea.org/newsreleases/2006/nr061003.html

For more information about AT&T Aspire:
www.att.com/education

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee 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: Brian Washington  (202) 822-7823