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MTA and NEA Recommend Markey for U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON - February 13, 2013 -

The Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Education Association announced today that they are recommending U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (5th Congressional District) in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John F. Kerry.

“Congressman Markey has been a strong and effective advocate for public education and the rights of working men and women,” said MTA President Paul Toner. “He knows how to get things done. He is intelligent, hard-working and principled. If Ed Markey is elected, we are confident he will fight as hard for students and public education in the U.S. Senate as he has done in the House.”

The largest union in the state, the MTA has 110,000 members, including preK-12 teachers, education support professionals, public higher education faculty and staff, and public education retirees. The MTA is the state affiliate of the 3-million-member NEA. The recommendation will enable the associations to organize their members and advocate on behalf of Markey before the primary on April 30.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of our educators – the Massachusetts Teachers Association and National Education Association. Education is fundamental to ensuring opportunity for all and building a strong economy,” said Representative Markey. “Educators teach not only students but also families, communities and the entire country, and I am proud to stand with them as we work together for a better Massachusetts. I will continue to work to ensure our teachers have the resources they need to provide the best education system possible for our children.”

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, “Ed Markey has been a friend of educators, students and organized labor for over 30 years. NEA is proud to stand behind him for U.S. Senate. Representative Markey has fought hard for Massachusetts workers and families, protecting vital programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and education from cuts. He’s shown unwavering commitment to educators and students during his career in Congress, and that’s exactly the kind of education advocate we need in the Senate.”

After interviewing the candidates and reviewing their voting records and responses to a questionnaire, the MTA’s Candidate Recommendation Committee voted to recommend Markey to the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, the NEA’s political action committee. The NEA formally approved that recommendation today.

Markey, the longest-serving member of Congress from Massachusetts, describes himself as a “passionate progressive” on his campaign website. Toner said that the CRC was impressed by Markey’s lifelong support for public education. He was the lead House author of the E-Rate program (for “Education Rate”) passed as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. E-Rate has provided federal subsidies to connect schools and libraries to the Internet.

“He recognized early on that our students will not be able to compete in the global economy if they do not have early access to up-to-date technology,” said Toner.

Markey also has a strong track record of backing special education funding, increased online privacy protections for children, programs to fight childhood obesity and fair access to student loans. He is leading the charge for new laws to make schools safe from gun violence.

In addition to supporting public education and working families, Markey is known for fighting climate change, promoting safe energy, supporting women’s rights and reducing income inequality.

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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, NEA Communications, (202) 822-7823
                           Laura Barrett, MTA Communications, (617) 878-8267