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NEA spends $15 million on public campaign to elect education champions

First wave of TV ads airs this week in key federal races

WASHINGTON - October 06, 2010 -

To draw attention to candidates who support public schools, NEA and its political action committees have launched a $15 million independent campaign involving television and radio ads to elect education champions in several key federal races.

The first round of TV ads began airing today in Arizona’s 5th Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell, a former high school teacher, is running for re-election.  Television ads also began airing this week in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District in support of another education leader seeking re-election, U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.  Television and radio ads are planned for several other federal races across the country leading up to Election Day.

“It’s about informing voters and helping them make the right choice,” said Karen M. White, the director of NEA’s Campaigns and Elections Department.  “This current Congress has made a record investment in children and public schools.  Are we going to continue to head in the right direction by electing champions to Capitol Hill who will keep fighting for public education, or are we going to vote in people who want to dramatically slash education funding and give tax breaks to millionaires and companies that ship our jobs overseas?”

The independent campaign also includes mailings to voters in other important House and Senate races urging them to support pro-public education candidates.  Close to 75,000 pieces of mail went out today to voters in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District, which is home to U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a former social studies teacher who is seeking re-election to the House. More mailings are planned for other federal races where there is a clear pro-public education standout.  

“The elections are less than a month away. We’ve got to get the word out about who the real public education champions are and what voters need to do to get them elected,” said White. “With the No Child Left Behind Act up for re-authorization, the next Congress will play a significant role in determining whether this nation will move forward to make sure that all children have access to great public schools.”

The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education is the largest national political action committee working to elect pro-public education candidates to Congress and the presidency.

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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: Brian Washington  (202) 822-7823,