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NEA president thanks Coakley for years of service, congratulates U.S. Senator-Elect Brown

WASHINGTON - January 20, 2010 -

WASHINGTON—National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel offered the following statement regarding the election of Scott Brown in yesterday’s special election in Massachusetts to fill the balance of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy's unexpired term.

“The National Education Association, representing 3.2 million educators across America, thanks Martha Coakley for her years of public service and for her work campaigning to be Massachusetts’ next U.S. senator.  NEA and the Massachusetts Teachers Association have been and will continue to be honored to work with Attorney General Coakley on issues of critical importance to educators and the students they serve. 

“As Attorney General for Massachusetts and for the last 20 years of her career as a public servant, Martha Coakley has been a leading voice for public education.  She is an advocate for public safety in schools and communities, she works tirelessly to open up the doors of higher education by ensuring that student loan policies are fair and she is working daily for the rights of children. 

“We congratulate U.S. Senator-elect Brown on his victory and look forward to working with him in service to the people of the Commonwealth and the United States.  There are a host of issues that will require Brown's immediate attention, not the least of which is health care reform. An estimated 46 million Americans, including 8 million children, are without health insurance. We look forward to working with U.S. Senator-elect Brown to tackle this and other issues facing America's middle class families.  We are hopeful that U.S. Senator-elect Brown will continue the tradition of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of making support for public education a top priority.""

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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: Samantha Kappalman (202) 822-7823,