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NEA President urges U.S. Senate to put partisan politics aside

Senate fails to move forward on Jobs legislation as students, educators wait for funds

WASHINGTON - October 11, 2011 -

The U.S. Senate decided to punt today on legislation to put America back on the right economic track again. Teachers, education support professionals, parents and others in local communities are rallying behind President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act—a  bold proposal  to get the economy moving forward.   

“The time to act is now to provide a much-needed boost to our economy by putting Americans back to work,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “The Senate’s failure to move forward on the President’s American Jobs Act is ill timed and short sighted.  This legislation is about more than saving educators’ jobs—it also is about securing the future for our students and our nation.” 

President Obama has agreed to work with Congress on breaking up the measure and passing proposals on a piece-by-piece basis. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced S. 1597- Fix America's Schools Today (FAST) Act on the Senate floor, which would put up to 400,000 educators back to work and modernize 35,000 of our nation’s aging public schools and community colleges.  Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives (H.R.2948). 

“When given the opportunity to put students first by supporting a bill that would create jobs and modernize our nation’s aging schools, the Senate put partisanship before students and educators,” noted Van Roekel. “Senators will have another chance when  Sen. Brown’s FAST Act comes up for consideration. We urge Congress to stop using political tactics and act swiftly. We need to keep students learning and educators working in schools instead of on the unemployment lines.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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,