In the Know
NEA Recommends Obama
Delegates to the 2008 NEA Representative Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the membership support presidential candidate Barack Obama.
The 2008 presidential election is just a few weeks away. The differences between the Democratic and Republican tickets in the November election are stark.
Senator John McCain has been absent from education issues for years. He has opposed increases in student aid, tried to block the recently passed GI Bill that will provide veterans and their families with an assurance of this country's commitment to their success, and has yet to propose a higher education plan during his campaign.
What he has said is that he will freeze all domestic discretionary spending for one year-regardless of need or inflation! This proposal would affect many programs that help students afford college tuition, initiatives to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and programs aimed at improving the offerings in our nation's postsecondary institutions.
McCain has introduced some ideas regarding the K-12 part of the education continuum, and those proposals focus on “school choice” and privatization.
In contrast, Senator Obama has promised to make college more affordable and has offered common-sense reforms for the early education and K-12 public school system, putting lifelong learning within reach of every American.
Obama is offering to every American a fully refundable tax credit of $4,000 to tuition and fees every year in exchange for 100 hours of community service. Furthermore, Obama plans to eliminate the tons of paperwork currently associated with applying for financial aid so that the process is much simpler for families.
Obama also will provide more support for community colleges, provide resources for institutions that focus on helping their students graduate, and ensure that the federal government is supporting grant aid rather than focusing largely on offering more loans to struggling families.
Senator Obama is committed to making college more affordable for low- and middle-income families. The election on November 4 will be historic and is critical to the future of our educational system, from preschool to public schools to higher education institutions. Be sure to make your voice heard!
You can find out more about the candidate at www.Barackobama.com.
From The Lectern
I can tell you, in 2008, I am not satisfied. I am not satisfied with a public education system that allows close to 50 percent of young African-American and Hispanic males not to get through school. And I am not satisfied that some children in this nation go to a school that is beautiful and well-equipped and modern in every way and others go to a building that screams that society does not care about you. I hope that every single one of you leaves this RA gloriously dissatisfied. I hope it gnaws deep down inside you so that you say, 'I can't stand it another moment.' The richest, most powerful nation in the world cannot provide for its children. Cannot provide health care, cannot provide education. Something is wrong, it needs to change."
—Dennis Van Roekel, speaking at the NEA Representative Assembly, July 6, 2008.