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NEA calls on President Obama and world leaders to keep their promise to fund and fulfill the goal of education for all children


WASHINGTON - April 21, 2010 -

As millions of educators, parents and children around the world celebrate Global Action Week, April 19-23, the National Education Association is urging President Obama and world leaders to fulfill their promises to fund education for all of the world’s children.

More than 72 million children around the world lack the right to basic education at a primary school, while 226 million children are denied the opportunity to attend secondary school. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, joined by the Most Rev. Bishop Desmond Tutu, honorary chair of the Global AIDS Alliance, called on President Obama and world leaders to carry out their promises for universal education.

“Educators around the world are united in the belief that education is a fundamental human right,” Van Roekel and Tutu wrote to President Obama, asking him to attend the Global Summit on Education at the World Cup in South Africa. They also asked him to fulfill his pledge of $2 billion for the Global Campaign for Education.

Financing Quality Public Education: A Right for All is the theme for Global Action Week. The Global Campaign for Education has teamed with the FIFA and the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament to launch 1GOAL, a worldwide effort to collect names in support of Education for All from the public, soccer players and celebrities.

“It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible. We must be willing to do more than talk and put universal education on the fast track to break the cycle of illiteracy and poverty running rampant in regions around the world,” added Van Roekel and Tutu.

NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen joined Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), author of the proposed Education for All Act, and actress Jessica Alba, co-chair of the 1Goal Campaign in the United States, to press lawmakers on Capitol Hill to provide the resources to achieve the goal of universal education by 2015.

“NEA’s 3.2 million members are proud to be a part of the Global Campaign for Education and help teach an important lesson, The World’s Largest Lesson,  about economics, democracy and human rights,” said Eskelsen. “Investment in education pays returns in health, economic growth, environmental stewardship, democratic participation AND it’s a human right.”

NEA, a member of the U.S. Chapter of the Global Campaign for Education Leadership Council, helped develop the 1Goal lesson plans being used by educators around the world.. Following Global Action Week, NEA members will continue to lead by example, teaching the 1Goal lessons in classrooms, taking the Education for All messages to policymakers and engaging the public in a large grassroots movement to expand educational opportunities around the globe.

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For more information on NEA Global Campaign and 1Goal activities, go to www.nea.org/gaw

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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: Anita Merina  202-822-7289, amerina@nea.org