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Message from the NEA-Retired President

 A Busy Summer, and a Busier Fall Ahead

NEA-Retired members have had a busy summer, and in the run-up to the November election season, they will be called on to do even more to ensure a successful outcome for public education and the middle class. 

In June, NEA-Retired held its 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The delegates and members set two new records with their financial contributions to the NEA-Retired Memorial Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Fund and the Fund For Children and Public Education. They raised $3,500 for the scholarship fund, and, in spite of difficult economic times, NEA-Retired members expressed their generosity by donating more than $30,000 to the Fund For Children and Public Education. They also presented $2,000 scholarships to two deserving NEA Student members.

NEA-Retired members continue to enjoy a great relationship with NEA Student members. This year, as in the past, NEA-Retired members joined NEA Student members before the NEA Representative Assembly for the annual Outreach to Teach event (see page 10). The two groups joined forces to give a much-needed facelift to a chosen school—this year the lucky one was the Thomas Johnson Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The students and retirees painted the walls, created bulletin boards, landscaped the grounds, and even painted the crosswalks and curbs. Both groups can be proud of their work for this intergenerational program that benefits students by making school a bright, attractive place for learning.

 Our NEA-Retired members at the Annual Meeting were well aware of how important the 2012 election is to public education, to educators, and to NEA.

They are also well aware of the attacks on public education, educators, and our union since the election of 2010. Many of us have endured cuts to our pensions and health care. Some have lost the right of collective bargaining and even the right to have payroll deduction of our dues. And we know that legislation to implement similar cuts and restrictions is planned for many states that haven’t been affected yet.

 Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, our task in electing friends of public education has become more difficult. And while we can’t compete financially with the huge corporations and wealthy individuals supporting our adversaries, we and our activist colleagues can outwork them!

It’s time to get involved. We must elect friends to our state legislatures, and to the Congress. We must return our goalie to the White House.

To find out what you can do to help elect those who will advance the interests of public education and protect your rights, go to EducationVotes.org.

—Tom Curran

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4-Sep-12