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Letter to the Senate HELP Committee on Fit Kids

May 14, 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 next week’s hearing in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on ESEA Reauthorization: Supporting Student Health, Physical Education, and Well-Being. 

However, we remind you that none of the issues that are the focus of next week’s hearing can be adequately addressed 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.  Programs that address student health and wellness, and the educators who implement such programs, are likely among the first to be cut.

Before Congress addresses the issues under consideration in next 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 include the Keep Our Educators Working Act (S.3206) in the emergency supplemental appropriations bill.  Without an education jobs package, important discussions such as those in next week’s hearing will be meaningless. 

Attached for your information and use are:

  • NEA one-pager:  Healthy Kids are Better Students
  • Report from the Campaign for Education Equity: Healthier Students Are Better Learners -- A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap

We thank you for your attention to this important information.

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson 
Director of Government Relations