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NEA launches second television ad campaign to support education jobs bill

Florida laid-off teacher urges Congress to put students ahead of politics

WASHINGTON - October 19, 2011 -

The National Education Association today launched a second, limited television ad campaign urging Congress to pass The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. If passed, the proposal will help put first responders, teachers and support staff back to work.

“The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act is the right plan for the American people,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Congress can choose to put students ahead of political gridlock by supporting a bill that puts educators back in classrooms and off of the unemployment lines.”

Teachers, education support professionals, parents and others in local communities are rallying behind President Barack Obama’s bold proposal to get the economy moving in the right direction. The proposal would put approximately 400,000 educators back to work and help keep class sizes more manageable. 

The new 30-second ad, which is micro-targeted in media markets in Alaska, Massachusetts, Nevada, and West Virginia, follows a similar 30-second ad buy that aired in media markets in Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas and the District of Columbia.

The new ad campaign features Cherine Akbari, a laid-off history teacher from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Florida. Cherine was fired the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week and five days after she moved into her new house.

“The day I found out that I wouldn’t be coming back into the classroom was awful,” said Cherine Akbari. “One of my students started crying in front of the whole class. When I tried to reassure her, she said, ‘You don’t understand. You changed my life. I want to become a teacher because of you.’ I couldn’t help wondering if she became a teacher, would there even be a job for her?” 

The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, if passed, would put people like Cherine back in the classroom with her students again. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed educators like her who are willing and eager to get back to schools and classrooms—with help from Congress.

“Congress must act now to provide this much-needed boost to our economy by putting educators back to work,” said Van Roekel. “This legislation is about more than saving educators’ jobs—it also is about securing the future for our students and our nation.”

To view the 30-second ad, visit
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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:  Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,