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NEA praises House of Representatives for speaking up for education and students

Timely passage of emergency funding is a step in the right direction for public schools this fall


NEW ORLEANS - July 01, 2010 -

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation containing emergency funds to help states to cope with the Great Recession and stave off massive layoffs of educators and cuts to programs. The spending measure, which includes billions in aid to public schools and other critical domestic priorities, now moves to the Senate. According to a National Education Association analysis, the funds will save the jobs of approximately 138,000 educators.

The timely action by the House of Representatives comes at a critical time. School budgets across the country have already been cut to the bone, forcing massive layoffs of teachers and education support professionals. Some districts are moving to four-day school weeks, gutting critical services and programs for students, or even closing schools entirely. Other districts are projecting class sizes to double as a direct result of the layoffs. These layoffs and cuts are coming at the same time schools are facing demands for better academic outcomes.

NEA launched a national campaign called Speak Up for Education & Kids to mobilize educators and others concerned about the budget crisis facing states and to raise awareness about the consequences of inaction. NEA will continue to put pressure on policymakers until they put students before politics.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“We applaud the House of Representatives for speaking up for public education and students. We are especially grateful to Rep. David Obey (D-WI) and the House leadership for working so hard to address the immediate education and jobs crisis.

“Similarly, we appreciate the unbending support of President Obama and his administration, as well as governors across the country, to ensure financial relief for struggling states and keep our nation on the road to economic recovery.

“Today, as a direct result of educators’ voices and efforts, we are a step closer to making sure children do not have to bear the brunt of our nation’s economic woes. Most importantly, however, the much-needed funds will keep class sizes from ballooning and prevent many harmful cuts to critical services and programs for students.

“We urge the Senate to act swiftly to pass the emergency funding bill and stave off more economic damage to our schools. We need to keeping schools open, educators working and students learning.”

For more information on Speak Up for Education & Kids, visit www.facebook.com/speakupforkids
For more information on saving educators’ jobs, visit www.educationvotes.nea.org/
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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee 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: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823 mgonzalez@nea.org