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NEA sends urgent plea to Congress

Do the right thing for students; pass the Keep Our Educators Working Act

WASHINGTON - May 04, 2010 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel joined U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), AFT President Randi Weingarten and concerned teachers and parents today on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to make education jobs funding a priority.

“As educators continue to face layoffs across the country, we must remember what this means for our students and their futures,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “Massive class sizes, less attention to individual student needs, fewer services—all mean our children won’t receive the education they need. How can we give our children a world class education when teachers and other education personnel are in unemployment lines instead of in classrooms and schools?”

From left: NEA. Pres. Dennis Van Roekel, AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

In keeping with past recovery efforts under the Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Harkin, chair of the Senate Education Committee, recently introduced the Keep Our Educators Working Act, which would provide $23 billion to extend the already successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. According to Harkin, the bill, cosponsored by 25 Senators, would offer a one-year influx of money to fund state and local education jobs.  In addition, Miller, who is chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, has included funding for education jobs in his Local Jobs for America Act.

“This country is about to face a massive wave of layoffs in our schools and institutions of higher learning that could weaken our economic recovery and cause serious damage to our education system,” Harkin said. “This bill is an investment in our kids, in our economy and in our future.”

“Chairmen Harkin and Miller have introduced bills that will save or fund hundreds of thousands of education jobs, and ensure that millions of America’s students will not be penalized or shortchanged because of the nation’s economic woes,” said Van Roekel. “When educators lose their jobs, our children lose too.”

All across the country, educators are speaking out for education and kids. Join the discussion on Facebook at

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To read NEA Today's coverage of the event, click here. To watch it on YouTube, click here.

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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: Samantha Kappalman  (202) 822-7823,