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Thank You Letter to Arne Duncan for his Support of an Education Jobs Package

April 19, 2010

Dear Secretary Duncan:


On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), I would like to thank you for your comments at Wednesday’s Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in support of an education jobs package.  Your support will make a real difference in securing immediate passage of this urgent relief. 

As you know, the situation is critical. Across the country, educators are receiving “pink slips” for the next school year, and those who haven’t yet fear it may be just a matter of time.  NEA estimates that at least 125,000 educators will be laid off, with reports of even more layoffs coming in daily.  We are losing talented educators at the same time we are increasing demands for better academic outcomes.  The implications of these layoffs are dire for our nation’s economic strength and, most importantly, for our children’s future. 

Not one fewer student is coming through our public school doors because of the economic crisis. Students still need educators to be there helping them, inspiring them, and educating them every single day.  Children get only one shot at an education, and isn’t their fault they are in school during this time of economic crisis.  Layoffs, ballooning class sizes, and dramatic program cuts are shortchanging our students and jeopardizing our ability to compete in the global economy.

We are very pleased that Senator Harkin has introduced the Keep Our Educators Working Act, which would allocate $23 billion to continue the successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund assistance provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Immediate passage of this funding is essential if we are to prevent devastating layoffs and program cuts and ensure all students the world-class education they deserve. 

Thank you again for your support on this most urgent matter. 

Sincerely,

Dennis Van Roekel
President