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Letter to the Senate HELP Committee on Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child

April 21, 2010

Dear Senator:

The National Education Association, representing 3.2 million educators across the nation, would like to share with you the enclosed materials in advance of tomorrow’s hearing in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on ESEA Reauthorization: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child.

Also attached is a spring 2009 research brief from NEA’s Visiting Scholars Program on community schools.

We thank the Committee for holding this important hearing.  However, we remind you that none of these issues can be adequately addressed, nor can we implement successful education reform, without talented, dedicated educators in our schools.  In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of educators have received pink slips, with more to come.  State budget crises are forcing massive layoffs, ballooning class sizes, and dramatic program cuts – all of which are shortchanging our students and jeopardizing our future strength as a nation.

Before Congress addresses the myriad of issues under consideration in this week’s hearing, you must enact an education jobs package, to save educator jobs and ensure the education workforce necessary to implement reforms.  We strongly urge the Senate to pass the Keep Our Educators Working Act (S.3206), which would provide $23 billion to extend the already successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund assistance provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Without an education jobs package, important discussions such as those in this week’s hearing will be meaningless. 

We thank you for your immediate attention to these critical issues. 


Kim Anderson 
Director of Government Relations