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Statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on the passing of Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.)

NEA mourns loss of public education champion

WASHINGTON - March 07, 2012 -

“NEA members are mourning the loss of a former colleague and champion for public education.  As a former New Jersey public school teacher, Rep. Donald Payne understood that a quality education includes early childhood instruction and equal opportunities for higher learning. Payne led the life of a diligent public servant and human rights advocate.   We are deeply grateful for his contributions as an education advocate and role model.”

For more on the contributions of Rep. Payne, please go to Education Votes.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 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,