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Politicians give big ‘shout outs’ to educators

North Carolina bus driver Ernest “Jameel” Williams to be honored on Day Three of NEA RA

CHICAGO - July 03, 2011 -

Delegates to the National Education Association’s 2011 Representative Assembly (RA) welcomed Vice President Joe Biden and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear with standing ovations.  Between lively debate and policymaking, the 9,000 delegates heard from Biden and Beshear on Day Three of the RA.

Vice President Joe Biden told delegates that the current national debate is about a fundamental difference in vision for America and talked about the budget cuts in the states that are hurting working families.

“There is an organized effort to place the blame for budget shortfalls squarely on educators and other public workers,” said Vice President Biden.  “It is one of the biggest scams in modern American history.”  The Vice President also extolled the hard work of educators and their dedication to students.

Later in the day, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear—who was awarded America’s Greatest Education Governor—reiterated the Vice President’s sentiment, telling delegates, “In Kentucky we've refused to retreat on our future. We're not going to balance the budget on the backs of our children.”
In addition to making decisions about new business, delegates re-elected NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and Vice President Lily Eskelsen to three year terms.

Tomorrow the body will discuss a major policy statement on teacher evaluation and accountability systems and will decide whether or not to recommend President Obama for a second term.  In addition, ESP of the year, North Carolina bus driver, Ernest “Jameel” Williams will address the assembly.


ESP of the Year, Ernest “Jameel” Williams


Addressing delegates at NEA’s 90th Representative Assembly


Monday, July 4, 1:30 pm


McCormick Place Convention Center
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
North Building, Level 3 Hall B-1

All media must register to cover the Representative Assembly. Contact Shade Barnes to request credentials,

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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: Laila Hirschfeld  (202) 822-7823,