NEA Tele-Town Hall: Congressman Walt Minnick
Congressman Walter Minnick describes himself as being passionate about public education. Recently, he got the chance to share this passion with hundreds of citizens from his district in northwest Idaho during a telephone town hall sponsored by the Idaho Education Association and the National Education Association.
“It was a real pleasure to spend some time on the phone with Idaho educators,” said Rep. Minnick. “A quality public education for every Idaho child has been one of my life’s passions, and I will continue to do all I can as a Congressman to help us achieve that common goal.”
The tele-town hall began at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time to accommodate those who live in Minnick’s home district, which is three hours behind in the Pacific time zone. Minnick enthusiastically took calls and questions from educators, parents, community leaders, and citizens all concerned about public education.
“I appreciate what I heard and learned tonight, and hope all Idaho educators will reach out to my office with their thoughts and concerns on the important issues facing our schools and our nation,” said Minnick.
NEA is teaming up with state affiliates across the country to host tele-town halls with elected leaders in Washington, DC. The first round of events—which have included tele-town halls in congressional districts in Maryland and Alabama—is expected to stretch into the early part of 2010.
The events are designed to help educators and the general public know where elected leaders at the federal level stand on important issue related to public education. Topics addressed by lawmakers during these events have included charter schools, public school vouchers, teacher compensation, issues related to education support professionals, and the importance of parental involvement.
On the legislative front, Minnick is interested in early childhood education. He is currently working on developing legislation that would set-up federal grants for localities to implement and run pre-K programs. He has also introduced a resolution—House Resolution 879—highlighting the 88th observance of American Education Week, which is designed to spotlight educators and students. AEW takes place this year from November 15-21.
“American Education Week spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college,” Minnick wrote in a letter to his colleagues in Congress.