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Van Roekel applauds Obama’s leadership on fiscal responsibility

NEA to Congress: Vote ‘no’ on FY12 Budget Resolution

WASHINGTON - April 15, 2011 -

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech on fiscal responsibility:

“The Republican leadership’s FY12 budget proposal is big on sacrifice but short on sharing. The proposal, based on fuzzy math and loaded with tax breaks for the wealthy, benefits large corporate donors and special interest groups, at the expense of America’s middle class and our nation’s students.

“President Obama’s proposal, released yesterday, stands in stark contrast to what the GOP has proposed. The President’s plan is a comprehensive, pro-growth economic investment strategy that lays a strong foundation for private sector growth.  His plan is one that values education and respects America’s middle class rather than catering to the wealthy, corporations, and CEOs.

“The President’s plan continues the work of rebuilding our economy and creates jobs.  It puts America’s children and workers ahead of corporate bottom lines. NEA’s 3.2 million members know the best comprehensive, pro-growth economic strategy is to invest in our students and middle class and will oppose any budget that is balanced on the backs of students.

“We applaud President Obama for standing firm on keeping crucial programs like Medicare and Medicaid intact because our seniors, the disadvantaged and students count on these programs. We will oppose any attempt to tax health care benefits because we consider them to be direct attacks on America's working families and our country’s future.

“A federal budget should reflect the priorities of Americans who work hard and play by the rules, not millionaires and corporate special interests. Americans on Main Street are tired of seeing headlines about major corporations that don’t pay a dime in taxes even as they rake in record profits. Yet America’s workers, the very people who helped generate those profits, are struggling as never before.  NEA calls on Congress to follow the President’s lead and put the interests of working people, families and students ahead of politics.”

See NEA’s charts comparing the cost of the tax cuts to the cost of providing needed resources for Title I, IDEA, Pell Grants, and Head Start.

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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: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,