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Federal Legislative Update March 2010

March 26, 2010
March 19, 2010
March 12, 2010
March 5, 2010


News from Capitol Hill. . .


3/26/10


NEA cyber-lobbyists:  this week we had a major victory with passage of health care reform.  We could not have achieved this victory without you!! But, we still need your help on urgent items. Please take five minutes to help save your jobs and tell Congress that the Administration’s ESEA blueprint is very flawed!!  And please also help us thank the courageous lawmakers who voted for health care reform.  Your voice is important!

VICTORY!!  President Signs Health Care Reform into Law


This week, Congress passed and the President signed into law historic health care reform legislation.  The fight for health care was long and challenging, and NEA activists played an integral role.  Together, you sent over 120,000 e-mails to Congress and the President demanding affordable, quality health care for all. 

The new law includes many positive provisions that will help active and retired NEA members, children, and families.  It also includes significant increased investments in student aid and higher education.

See how your Representative and Senators voted on this historic bill.

THANK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TODAY!  Many Members of Congress showed great courage in voting for this legislation and are now being targeted politically because of their vote.  Thank your Representative or Senator who voted in support of this historic legislation.  Tell your Representative or Senator who opposed the bill that you are disappointed they failed to stand up for children and families. 


ESEA/No Child Left Behind Reauthorization: Tell Congress To Do What Is Right For Kids


Reauthorization of ESEA has kicked into high gear.  The Obama Administration has released a blueprint for reauthorization that NEA believes has significant problems and raises serious concerns. 
Of particular concern are:

  • Continued emphasis on standardized testing and failure to allow for multiple measures of student learning
  • Teacher evaluations tied to student test scores
  • Limited and federally-mandated non-research-based turnaround models for struggling schools
  • Funding streams that favor some states and districts over others
  • No mention of parent or family engagement
  • Insufficient efforts to address inequity and gaps in opportunity, tools, and resources 

CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY! Tell Congress what students really need.  Share your views — you are the expert!  Take NEA’s survey and tell us your priorities for ESEA reauthorization. 

Help Us Save Your Job: Tell The Senate To Pass An Education Jobs Fund!


Your continued efforts are needed in urging the Senate to pass a jobs package that includes assistance to help states create/save jobs — including education jobs.  An Education Jobs Fund will have an immediate economic impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials.  It will also help keep pre-k through postsecondary institutions fully staffed with teachers, faculty, and education support professionals — thereby ensuring that class sizes don’t swell and students can get the attention they need -- at a time when many students are experiencing great stress.  The House has already passed this important funding — the Senate needs to act quickly. 

E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY!  The e-mail you send could help save your job or the job of a colleague!  Remind the Senate that much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery. Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes an Education Jobs Fund — to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs.

Additional Information:

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill. 

 

3/19/10

URGENT 911! CALLING ALL NEA CYBER-LOBBYISTS! WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR HELP ON ALL THREE ITEMS LISTED BELOW—AND WE NEED IT FAST! IT WILL ONLY TAKE FIVE MINUTES TO HELP SAVE YOUR JOBS, KEEP HEALTHCARE COSTS FROM EATING INTO YOUR SALARIES, AND TELL CONGRESS THAT THE ADMINISTRATION’S ESEA BLUEPRINT IS VERY FLAWED!! YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT— MAKE SURE CONGRESS HEARS IT!


ESEA/NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND REAUTHORIZATION: TELL CONGRESS TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR KIDS


Reauthorization of ESEA has kicked into high gear. The Obama Administration has released a blueprint for reauthorization that NEA believes has significant problems and raises serious concerns.
Of particular concern are:

  • Continued emphasis on standardized testing and failure to allow for multiple measures of student learning
  • Teacher evaluations tied to student test scores
  • Mandated non-research-based turnaround models for struggling schools
  • Shift toward untested competitive programs
  • No mention of parent or family engagement
  • Insufficient efforts to address inequity and gaps in opportunity, tools, and resources

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified in both the House and Senate this week about the blueprint. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel testified before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Watch Dennis Van Roekel’s testimony and read his written submission to the Committee.

CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY! Tell Congress to rip out the pages of the blueprint that don't work for you and your kids. Congress MUST understand that NEA’s members are serious!!


HEALTH CARE REFORM VOTE EXPECTED SOON: MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE --VOTE YES ON HEALTH CARE REFORM

The House of Representatives is poised for an historic vote on health care reform as early as this weekend. House leaders have stated that the legislation will deliver the biggest reduction in the federal deficit since the 1990s, while providing access to health care coverage for nearly all Americans and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to the sick.

NEA believes action on a health care bill is critical. Our nation cannot afford to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control. Health care reform will make health coverage more affordable to individuals and small businesses, hold insurance companies accountable, provide the security of coverage for the insured and uninsured, and bring down costs for everyone.

CONTACT YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY! Tell Congress to vote yes on health care reform.


HELP US SAVE YOUR JOB: TELL THE SENATE TO PASS AN EDUCATION JOBS FUND!
Your continued efforts are needed in urging the Senate to pass a jobs package that includes assistance to help states create/save jobs — including education jobs. An Education Jobs Fund will have an immediate economic impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials. It will also help keep pre-k through postsecondary institutions fully staffed with teachers, faculty, and education support professionals — thereby ensuring that class sizes don’t swell and students can get the attention they need -- at a time when many students are experiencing great stress. The House has already passed this important funding — the Senate needs to act quickly.

E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY! The e-mail you send could help save your job or the job of a colleague! Remind the Senate that much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery. Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes an Education Jobs Fund — to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs.

Additional Information:

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT! Take NEA’s survey and tell us your priorities for ESEA reauthorization. Join the discussion — share your thoughts about what changes you would like to see in the law, what provisions should be kept, and how the federal government can really help schools close achievement gaps and improve achievement.



3/12/10

Keep Up The Drumbeat: Remind Congress That Reforming Health Care And Saving Educators' Jobs Keeps Kids — And Our Economy — On Top


MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE: VOTE YES ON HEALTH CARE REFORM


This week, President Obama has been traveling across the country making the case for health care reform. At the same time, the House could vote as early as the week of March 15 on the health care reform bill passed earlier this year by the Senate. This vote would set the stage for work in the Senate on a corrections bill — a bill Democratic House and Senate leadership have been working on and which is expected to be released soon. The corrections bill would incorporate compromises between the House and Senate bills, including language NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and other labor leaders negotiated earlier this year with the Administration to address the controversial excise tax on higher-cost health care plans. House and Senate leaders hope to have bill(s) passed and to President Obama for signature before the spring holiday break.

NEA believes action on a health care bill is critical. Our nation cannot afford to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control. Health care reform will make health coverage more affordable to individuals and small businesses, hold insurance companies accountable, provide the security of coverage for the insured and uninsured, and bring down costs for everyone.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TODAY! Tell Congress to vote yes on health care reform.


MESSAGE TO THE SENATE: MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SAVE JOBS!

You Did It!!! This week the Senate passed the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 4123), which includes provisions NEA and our cyberlobbyists have been advocating:

  • An extension of federal Medicaid funding — to relieve budget pressures and prevent more cuts to education funding
  • Private pension funding relief — to protect retirement security
  • Extension of the educator tax deduction — to recognize the sacrifices made by educators across the nation who reach into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.

Your e-mails to Congress on these issues were invaluable in convincing the Senate to pass this important bill. See how your Senator voted.

But, still more needs to be done to save jobs. We need to continue the call for a jobs package that includes assistance to help states create/save jobs — including education jobs. An Education Jobs Fund will have an immediate economic impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials. It will also help keep pre-k through postsecondary institutions fully staffed with teachers, faculty, and education support professionals — thereby ensuring that class sizes don’t swell and students can get the attention they need -- at a time when many students are experiencing great stress.

E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY! Remind them that much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery. Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes an Education Jobs Fund — to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs.

Additional Information:

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.


GIVE US YOUR INPUT: ESEA/NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND REAUTHORIZATION

This week, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at a hearing on “The Importance of a World-Class K-12 Education for America’s Economic Success.” Watch Dennis’ testimony as he presented it to the Committee. Read Dennis’ longer written statement submitted for the hearing record.

Reauthorization of ESEA kicks into high gear next week, as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to testify in both the House and Senate on March 17. The Administration is expected to unveil their blueprint for ESEA reauthorization early next week prior to the hearings.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT! Take NEA’s survey and tell us your priorities for ESEA reauthorization. Join the discussion — share your thoughts about what changes you would like to see in the law, what provisions should be kept, and how the federal government can really help schools close achievement gaps and improve achievement.

 

News from Capitol Hill. . .



3/5/10


Tell Congress That Reforming Health Care and Saving Educators' Jobs Keeps Kids--And Our Economy--On Top


MESSAGE TO THE SENATE: MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SAVE JOBS!


This week the United States Senate continued work on jobs legislation, taking up a bill that includes a number of provisions NEA has called for, including:

  • An extension of federal Medicaid funding — to relieve budget pressures and prevent more cuts to education funding
  • Private pension funding relief — to protect retirement security
  • Extension of the educator tax deduction — to recognize the sacrifices made by educators across the nation who reach into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.

Your e-mails to Congress on these issues were invaluable in convincing Senate leaders to include these critical provisions in this latest bill.

But, still more needs to be done to save jobs. We need to continue the call for a jobs package that includes assistance to help states create/save jobs — including education jobs. An Education Jobs Fund will have an immediate economic impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials. It will also help keep pre-k through postsecondary institutions fully staffed with teachers, faculty, and education support professionals — thereby ensuring that class sizes don’t swell and students can get the attention they need -- at a time when many students are experiencing great stress.

E-MAIL YOUR SENATORS TODAY! Remind them that much more needs to be done to save educator jobs and spur economic recovery. Urge the Senate to take immediate action on a jobs package that includes an Education Jobs Fund — to save and create hundreds of thousands of education jobs.

Additional Information:.

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in your state.

See how much funding your state will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire, unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.


Message to The House And Senate: Keep Pushing For Health Care Reform Done Right!


Following the February 25 White House Health Care Summit, President Obama has endorsed finishing health care reform with an up-or-down vote. House and Senate leaders are working to finalize the language of a health care bill in order to set up the measure for passage in both chambers before the Easter break. NEA believes action on a health care bill is critical. Our nation cannot afford to let health care costs continue to spiral out of control. We must continue to encourage policymakers to support a bill that makes quality health care more affordable and accessible for all working families.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATORS IN CONGRESS TODAY! Tell Congress to finish the job and deliver a health reform bill that meets the needs of America’s families.


Message to The House: Support National Classified School Employees Of The Year Awards


Representatives Titus (D-NV) and Woolsey (D-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill (H.R. 2377) to create National Classified School Employees of the Year awards. These awards would recognize the essential services that education support professionals — including paraeducators, clerical assistants, school bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, technicians, custodians, school nurses, and security professionals — provide to America’s public schools and institutions of higher education. The House could vote on this bill as early as the week of March 8.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY! See if your Representative is a cosponsor. Urge your Representative to support national classified school employees of the year awards.