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Educators to Congress: What happens in Washington affects our students

Day of action brings voices of educators to lawmakers about issues affecting students


WASHINGTON - February 07, 2013 -

Educators from across the United States walked the halls of Congress today advocating on behalf of the nation’s 50 million students, and many more took action via social media or by calling lawmakers. The NEA National Day of Action was prompted by pressing issues—including a looming March 1 deadline that will trigger automatic, across-the-board budget cuts to education programs and services that affect students in schools and communities across America.

“The time to stand up for education and kids is now,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Day in and day out, educators are still experiencing firsthand the consequences of deep budget cuts, the epidemic of gun violence, and a broken immigration system. Our students and educators can’t continue to bear the direct brunt of these issues, not in in such a great, prosperous nation such as ours. Enough is enough.”

Educators urged Congress to seek a solution to avoid deep, across-the-board budget cuts to programs and services on which the nation’s 50 million students rely. “Attempting to get the nation’s fiscal house in order on the backs of students is wrong,” continued Van Roekel. “The ‘cuts only’ approach championed by some in Congress is shortchanging students and their bright futures, inflicting irreversible harm to our nation’s future. The negative impact of additional budget cuts would be harshest on the students who are in most need of help and can least afford to take more hits, including students in high-poverty communities and students with disabilities.”

NEA members are standing up to do what is right and necessary to make sure every child in the nation’s public schools has a safe and secure learning environment. “Educators have grieved too long and too often—for the children killed, their families and the heroic educators who gave their lives trying to protect their students,” said Van Roekel. “This senseless gun violence has pushed educators past the tipping point. Enacting common-sense gun violence prevention legislation to keep children and schools safe should be a top priority for lawmakers. ”

“Fixing our current immigration system now is right, timely and necessary,” said Van Roekel. “We have witnessed for too long the impact that the broken immigration system has had on our students, their families and our communities.” NEA is urging Congress to create a common-sense immigration process for aspiring Americans, one that includes a roadmap for immigrants to become citizens, unites families and allows DREAMers to earn citizenship.

To view messages educators sent to lawmakers via Instagram please click here.

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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.

Miguel Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823, mgonzalez@nea.org