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Letter to the Senate Urging a YES vote on Cloture and on the Education Jobs Amendment

July 29, 2010

Dear Senator:


Today, the Senate has a unique opportunity to stand up for our children and ensure our nation the competitive workforce necessary for the 21st century.  We strongly urge you to do what is right, by:

  • Voting YES on cloture for the small business bill (H.R. 5297) to enable debate and up or down votes on a number of amendments desired by Senators from both sides of the aisle; and
  • Voting YES on an amendment to add $9.7 billion in fully offset funding to save 135,000 education jobs.  This is NOT the House-passed version; new offsets for this critical funding have been identified. 

The 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), along with parents, students, and many others concerned about our children’s education and our economic recovery are watching these votes.  These votes WILL be scored in NEA’s Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress. 

The school year begins very soon in many states; Congress must complete its work on this important legislation now.  It would be unconscionable for the Senate to leave town without taking action, as the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of educators will go into effect before Congress returns in the fall, creating a deep and likely irreversible impact on our students’ education and the future strength of our nation.  Efforts to block debate signal a disturbing lack of recognition of the dire cuts that have already been made in public education.  In contrast, a vote to allow debate to proceed will show parents, students, and educators that the Senate acknowledges the current crisis and is looking for ways to address it. 

As students go back to school, their teachers will be heading to the unemployment office.  Unless you act now, the numbers released in the fall will reflect hundreds of thousands of newly unemployed educators.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, every 100,000 education jobs lost causes a loss of an additional 30,000 private sector jobs in local communities.  

Today’s votes offer a chance for Senators to stand on principle and to send a strong message of support to our nation’s educators and the students they serve.  We hope we can count on you on these critical votes.   

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson        
Director of Government Relations

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy