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Federal Legislative Update March 2013

March 29, 2013
March 22, 2013
March 15, 2013
March 8, 2013
March 1, 2013

March 29, 2013

KEEP THE PRESSURE ON — TELL CONGRESS NO MORE CUTS FOR KIDS


In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 23, by a vote of 50 to 49 the Senate passed the FY 2014 budget crafted by Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA). In stark contrast to the Ryan budget passed by the House, it would preserve federal funding for education, provide new revenue, and help create jobs. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s statement.

During the marathon “vote-o-rama” that culminated in the budget vote, Senators considered hundreds of non-binding amendments. They said YES to NEA-supported proposals to enhance revenue and NO to NEA-opposed proposals to divert scarce funds from public education to private school vouchers.

The House and the Senate FY 2014 budgets embody radically different visions of America’s future. Now, they will do battle over the path we take as a nation. Keep the pressure on and tell Congress, “No more cuts for kids!”

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • Email Congress or call 1.866.293.7278, our Educator Connector Line — Tell your Senators and Representative to support the Democratic budget.
  • Share your story — Tell us how budget cuts are hurting your students.
  • Take the Kids Not Cuts pledge — Already took it? Ask friends to sign it and join the fight.

EVERY 30 MINUTES A GUN HURTS OR KILLS — TELL CONGRESS THAT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE


With horrific statistics like these, pressure is mounting for Congress to take action. The Senate returns from recess next week and had been set to take up a gun violence prevention bill the week of April 8. Now, there is talk of a filibuster. The victims of gun violence deserve more — they deserve action. In addition to strengthening the laws that limit access to weapons of war, NEA supports:

  • Making schools safer while allowing districts to decide for themselves how to do it.
  • Professional development for all school staff in cultural competence, conflict management, and anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Expanding and enhancing mental-health services.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • Check out and share NEA’s latest information graphics, highlighting the prevalence of gun violence — every 30 minutes a gun hurts or kills someone.

Facebook links:
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Twitter links:
http://bit.ly/109tlXk
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SPEAK UP FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM


Come to Washington on April 10 and be a part of the All In for Citizenship Rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building. Enter NEA’s contest to identify compelling stories of people inspired to stand up for immigration reform. Two winners — a DREAMER and an educator — will be flown to Washington, DC, for the rally.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

LOBBY FOR REPEAL OF GPO/WEP ON APRIL 3


April 3 is Social Security Fairness and Solvency Lobby Day, dedicated to repeal of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which unfairly deprive educators and other public employees of Social Security benefits they have earned. GPO reduces spousal or survivor benefits, while WEP reduces or eliminates benefits for recipients of public pensions.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

Check out NEA’s tools and resources for repeal of GPO/WEP.

CHEERS AND JEERS


Cheers to:

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All 60 Senators who voted NO on the amendment that would have turned the FY 2014 Senate budget resolution into a vehicle for private school vouchers, especially the six Republicans among them: Senators Roy Blunt (MO), Susan Collins (ME), Deb Fischer (NE), Mark Kirk (IL), Jerry Moran (KS) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).

Jeers to:

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Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) for threatening to filibuster the gun violence prevention bill when the Senate takes it up the week of April 8.

March 22, 2013

BUDGET BATTLE REMAINS — TELL CONGRESS NO MORE CUTS TO KIDS


As we were going to press, the Senate was preparing to vote on the NEA-supported Democratic budget, proposed by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA). The Democratic budget is responsible, balanced, and reflects the values that make our nation strong: investing in people, jobs, and education as the path to prosperity. It reverses many of the across-the-board cuts to education, starting next year; raises $975 billion in new revenue obtained by closing corporate and individual tax loopholes; and dedicates $100 billion to job training and infrastructure projects, including school modernization. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s statement.

Earlier this week, the House passed the NEA-opposed Ryan budget by a vote of 221-207. Check out these new NEA charts showing the devastating impact the Ryan budget would have on Title I, IDEA and Head Start in your state. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s statement.

Also this week, both the House and the Senate passed the “continuing resolution” that funds the government for the remainder of FY 2013. Read NEA’s letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing the bill because it retains the sequester’s devastating across-the-board cuts to education and other programs. We are not giving up and will continue to fight to avert across-the-board cuts.

The Senate and House budgets for FY 2014 embody radically different visions of America’s future. The coming months will be a battle over which approach strengthens our economy and builds the middle class. We must keep up the pressure and tell Congress no more cuts to education.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • Email your Members of Congress — Tell them to support the Democratic budget and oppose the Ryan budget.
  • Share your story — Tell us how across-the-board cuts will affect you, your students, your school, and your colleagues.
  • Call Congress on our Educator Connector Line, 1.866.293.7278
  • Take the Kids Not Cuts pledge — Already took the pledge? Share it with at least five friends and ask them to join the fight.
  • For the latest news, check out Kids Not Cuts on the Education Votes website.

TELL SENATORS TO PASS COMMONSENSE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION BILLS


The Senate is expected to take up a gun violence prevention bill when it returns from recess the week of April 8. The bill will include universal background checks for gun purchases, aim to stop gun trafficking, and aim to help address school safety. Votes are expected, too, on banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.

Let your Senator know that you support stronger, sensible measures to prevent gun violence and keep our children and communities safe.

NEA is advocating for a multi-pronged approach to curbing the gun violence plaguing our nation. In addition to stronger laws to limit access to weapons of war, like background checks on gun purchases, we support:

  • Enhancing school safety while giving local districts the flexibility to decide what they need — counselors, nurses, or other personnel.
  • Providing professional development for all school staff in cultural competence, conflict management, and anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Expanding and improving mental-health services.

Learn more about NEA’s efforts to ensure the safety of all students.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • E-mail your Members of Congress— Tell them enough is enough. Tell them to take action immediately to help prevent more senseless deaths from gun violence.
  • Sign NEA’s petition — Support meaningful action on preventing gun violence, bullying, and expanding and improving mental-health services.
  • Send your stories to edinsider@nea.org— Lawmakers need to hear from educators about what they can do to help prevent more tragedies. Have you or your school been touched by gun-related violence? What have you experienced as an educator when discussing such incidents with your students? Tell us!

SPEAK UP FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM


The Senate held a hearing on immigration reform this week, “Building and Immigration System Worthy of American Values.” NEA’s priorities include providing a path to legal citizenship, promoting family unity, and passing the DREAM Act. Read NEA’s letter to Congress on comprehensive immigration reform.

On April 10, NEA and coalition partners are holding a rally, “Citizenship for 11 Million,” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Participants will educate, march, and knock on the doors of Congress in support of common sense immigration reform that includes a realistic path to citizenship. In conjunction with the rally, NEA has launched a national contest to identify compelling stories of people inspired to stand up for immigration reform. Two contest winners — a DREAMER and an educator — will be flown to Washington, DC, to participate in the event.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

LOBBY FOR REPEAL OF GPO/WEP ON APRIL 3


Mark your calendars: April 3 is Social Security Fairness and Solvency Lobby Day, dedicated to repealing the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which unfairly deprive public employees of Social Security benefits they have earned. GPO reduces public employees’ spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of their public pension, while WEP reduces or eliminates the benefits expected from another job for anyone who receives a public pension. Get the full story on.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

Check out NEA’s tools and resources you can use to fight for repeal of GPO/WEP.

CHEERS AND JEERS


Cheers to:

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Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Max Baucus (D-MT) for their amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution to create an Office of Rural Education Policy within the Department of Education.

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Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for pushing an amendment to add the Marketplace Fairness Act to the Senate Budget Resolution. This bipartisan legislation would allow state and local governments to collect sales tax from remote sellers, thereby providing needed resources for education and other critical priorities.

thumbsup Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) for offering a tribute to Charles Poland, Jr., the fallen ESP member from Alabama — she spoke on the floor and entered a tribute into Congressional Record.

Jeers to:

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The House of Representatives for passing the Ryan budget by a vote of 221-207. It continues and deepen the sequester’s draconian cuts to critical investments like education, slashes Medicaid, dismantles Medicare, and dramatically lower the top tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.

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Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rand Paul (R-KY), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for attempting to add private school voucher amendments to the Senate Budget Resolution.

March 15, 2013

TELL CONGRESS: SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC BUDGET, OPPOSE THE RYAN BUDGET


Dueling budget proposals for FY 2014 released this week represent radically different visions of America’s future. The Democratic budget, proposed by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA), is responsible, balanced, and reflects the values that make our nation strong: investing in people, jobs, and education as the path to prosperity. It would reverse many of the across-the-board cuts to education, starting next year; raise $975 billion in new revenue obtained by closing corporate and individual tax loopholes; and dedicate $100 billion to job training and infrastructure projects, including school modernization.

The Senate Budget Committee approved the NEA-supported Democratic budget by a vote of 12-10—Democrats and Independents voted YES, Republicans voted NO. The full Senate will take up the Democratic budget next week. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s statement.

The budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) stands in stark contrast. The Ryan budget, would continue and deepen the sequester’s draconian cuts to critical investments like education, slash Medicaid, and dismantle Medicare. In addition, it would dramatically lower the top tax rates for the wealthiest among us, and for corporations, to 25 percent.

The House Budget Committee approved the NEA-opposed Ryan budget on a party-line vote of 22-17. Check out these new NEA charts showing the devastating impact the Ryan budget would have on Title I, IDEA and Head Start in your state. The full House of Representatives will take up the Ryan budget next week. See NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s statement.

Also this week, the Senate took up the “continuing resolution” that would fund the government for the remainder of FY 2013. Passed by the House of Representatives last week, the Senate bill differs slightly but retains the arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to education and other important programs triggered on March 1. Read NEA’s letters to the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing the bill because of the devastating impact of these cuts.

The cuts are already sowing confusion and instability in military schools. Educators who serve the sons and daughters of our military face furloughs of as many as 22 days between now and the end of September — the equivalent of a 20 percent annual pay cut.

We cannot be silent. Next week, the full House of Representatives will take up the Ryan budget and the full Senate will take up the Democratic budget. Tell your Senators to vote YES on the Democratic budget, and tell your Representative to vote NO to the Ryan budget. Personalize the impact of the damaging, across-the-board cuts triggered on March 1 with real-life stories.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • Email your Members of Congress — Tell them to support the Democratic budget and oppose the Ryan budget.
  • Share your story — Tell us how across-the-board cuts will affect you, your students, your school, and your colleagues.
  • Call Congress on our Educator Connector Line, 1.866.293.7278
  • Take the Kids Not Cuts pledge— Already took the pledge? Share it with at least five friends and ask them to join the fight.
  • For the latest news, check out Kids Not Cuts on the Education Votes website.

GUN VIOLENCE BILLS ADVANCE IN SENATE — DEMAND ACTION NOW


This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed work on four gun violence prevention bills, approving each one. In total, the Committee advanced bills to require universal background checks for gun purchases and close the gun show loophole; to stop gun trafficking; to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips; and to provide funding for schools to install security equipment on campuses. NEA supported each of the bills. The Senate may take action on them when it returns from recess the week of April 8.

Let your Senator know that you support stronger, sensible measures to prevent gun violence and keep our children and communities safe.

NEA is advocating for a multi-pronged approach to curbing the gun violence plaguing our nation. In addition to stronger laws to limit access to weapons of war, like background checks on gun purchases, we support:

  • Enhancing school safety while giving local districts the flexibility to decide what they need — counselors, nurses, or other personnel.
  • Providing professional development for all school staff in cultural competence, conflict management, and anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Expanding and improving mental-health services.

Learn more about NEA’s efforts to ensure the safety of all students.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • E-mail your Members of Congress— Tell them enough is enough. Tell them to take action immediately to help prevent more senseless deaths from gun violence.
  • Sign NEA’s petition — Support meaningful action on preventing gun violence, bullying, and expanding and improving mental-health services.
  • Send your stories to edinsider@nea.org— Lawmakers need to hear from educators about what they can do to help prevent more tragedies. Have you or your school been touched by gun-related violence? What have you experienced as an educator when discussing such incidents with your students? Tell us!

SPEAK UP FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM


The importance of preserving family unity was the focus of a House hearing this week on immigration reform. Read NEA’s letter to Congress about this issue.

On April 10, NEA and coalition partners are holding a rally, “Citizenship for 11 Million,” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Participants will educate, march, and knock on the doors of Congress in support of common sense immigration reform that includes a realistic path to citizenship. In conjunction with the rally, NEA has launched a national contest to identify compelling stories of people inspired to stand up for immigration reform. Two contest winners — a DREAMER and an educator — will be flown to Washington, DC, to participate in the event.

NEA’s priorities for comprehensive immigration reform include providing a path to legal citizenship, promoting family unity, and passing the DREAM Act. Read NEA’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on comprehensive reform.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT REAUTHORIZATION VEERS OFF TRACK


This week, the House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) by a vote of 215-202. While NEA fully supports the goals of the law — equipping Americans of all ages with the skills and training they need to reach their full potential and contribute to a vibrant economy — this deeply flawed bill ensures neither equity for vulnerable populations nor the input key stakeholders, including the educators who provide training and services. Several NEA-supported amendments would have helped mitigate these shortcomings — for example, by requiring the input of labor unions and community colleges — but the full House of Representatives was not given the opportunity to vote on most of them. Read NEA’s letter to Congress opposing the bill.

CHEERS AND JEERS


Cheers to:

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Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for spearheading a budget proposal that is responsible, balanced, and reflects the values that make our nation strong: investing in people, jobs, and education as the path to prosperity.

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Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), for offering an amendment to the FY 2013 continuing resolution that would have provided additional funding to soften the blow of the across-the-board cuts for programs that support our neediest students, such as Title I and IDEA, as well as Impact Aid, Promise Neighborhoods, rural education, and TRIO. The amendment failed on a 54 — 45 vote because it needed 60 votes to advance in the Senate.

thumbsup Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY) for offering an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act that would have required the input of key stakeholders, especially labor unions, to the workforce development system.
thumbsup Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) for offering an amendment to the FY 2014 Ryan budget that would have helped preserve education jobs, and helped rebuild up to 350,000 crumbling schools and community college buildings.
thumbsup Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) for offering an amendment to the FY 2014 Ryan budget that would have prevented cuts in federal funding for education programs, Head Start, after-school programs, and allowed the Pell grant maximum to rise with inflation.
thumbsup Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for offering an amendment to the FY 2014 Ryan budget that would have kept student loan rates from doubling later this year.
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Representative Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) for offering an amendment to the FY 2014 Ryan budget that would have provided funding for school modernization, education jobs, and teacher training.

Jeers to:

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Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his FY 2014 budget proposal, which runs completely counter to our values as a nation — by placing the burden for balancing the budget squarely on the shoulders of the middle class and the poor while failing to ask the wealthy or corporations to pay their fair share, the Ryan budget makes a mockery of equal opportunity and shared responsibility.

March 8, 2013

TELL CONGRESS HOW ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS HURT YOUR STUDENTS


This week, the House of Representatives passed a “continuing resolution” to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2013, but refused to eliminate the devastating and arbitrary across-the-board cuts to education and other important programs triggered on March 1. NEA opposed the bill because it continued these cuts, which slash education and Head Start by about $3 billion. More than 7 million of our neediest students will be affected, and the jobs of tens of thousands of educators put at risk.

The cuts are already hitting 1,600 schools on military bases and Native American reservations. Educators who serve the sons and daughters of our military face furloughs of as many as 22 days between now and the end of September — the equivalent of a 20 percent annual pay cut.

Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on its version of the continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2013. Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on its version of the continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2013. However, we are hearing that the Senate may not stop the across-the-board cuts for the rest of this year. We are also expecting House Republicans and Senate Democrats to unveil rival budget proposals for fiscal year 2014 early next week; committee votes in both chambers are expected as well.

We cannot be silent. We need to urge Congress to reverse the damaging, across-the-board cuts. Contact Congress immediately! Personalize the impact of the cuts with real-life stories.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

VIEW AND SHARE NEW INFOGRAPHICS ON THE IMPACT OF THE CUTS

Education Votes has created new social media share-ables with national and state-specific data showing how many students will be affected by these unconscionable cuts. Please share them!

DEMAND ACTION TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE


This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began consideration of four gun violence prevention bills. Final committee votes are expected next week and Senate floor action in the coming weeks.

Let your Senator know that you support stronger, sensible measures to prevent gun violence and keep our children and communities safe.

NEA is advocating for a multi-pronged approach to curbing the gun violence plaguing our nation. In addition to stronger laws to limit access to weapons of war like criminal background checks, we support:

  • Enhancing school safety while giving local districts the flexibility to decide what they need — counselors, nurses, or other personnel.
  • Providing professional development for all school staff in cultural competence, conflict management, and anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Expanding and improving mental-health services.

Learn more about NEA’s efforts to ensure the safety of all students.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • E-mail your Members of Congress — Tell them enough is enough. Tell them to take action immediately to help prevent more senseless deaths from gun violence.
  • Sign NEA’s petition — Support meaningful action on preventing gun violence, bullying, and expanding and improving mental-health services.
  • Send your stories to edinsider@nea.org— Lawmakers need to hear from educators about what they can do to help prevent more tragedies. Have you or your school been touched by gun-related violence? What have you experienced as an educator when discussing such incidents with your students? Tell us!

SPEAK UP FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM


Our March 6 telephone town hall on immigration reform was a tremendous success — more than 4,200 educators participated! And on April 10, NEA and coalition partners are holding a rally, “Citizenship for 11 Million,” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.

NEA’s priorities for comprehensive immigration reform include providing a path to legal citizenship, promoting family unity, and passing the DREAM Act. Read NEA’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on this issue.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

BILL INTRODUCED TO CREATE NATIONAL ESP OF THE YEAR AWARD


Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) this week introduced a bipartisan bill (S. 456) to create an annual “Classified School Employee of the Year” award. Para-educators, clerical assistants, school bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, technicians, custodians, school nurses, and security professionals would be eligible for the award. Tell your Senators in Congress to support S. 456 and give these education support professionals the recognition they deserve! NEA is working to get the same bill introduced soon in the House of Representatives.

CHEERS AND JEERS


Cheers to:

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Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Al Franken (D-MN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for co-sponsoring the bill, introduced by Senator Murray, to create an annual “Classified School Employee of the Year” award.

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Representative John Tierney (D-MA) for leading the charge to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in a bipartisan way, and supporting labor access and involvement in decision-making.

Jeers to:

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The 267 members of the House who voted for the continuing resolution (H.R. 933) that includes devastating across-the-board cuts in education and other important programs.

March 1, 2013

TRIGGERED: TELL CONGRESS ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS WILL HURT YOUR STUDENTS


Automatic budget cuts to the education programs and services on which middle-class families and the nation’s 50 million students rely go into effect today. Congress’ inability to reach a compromise means $85 billion in across-the-board cuts, including $3 billion to education and Head Start, have been triggered.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, “The real consequences of the budget cuts—fewer educators and reading coaches, ballooning class sizes, and no after-school tutoring—are keeping educators and students up at night, and they are causing uncertainty and angst as school districts are making budgetary decisions for the upcoming school year… It’s wrong to balance the budget on the backs of students without demanding that corporations and the rich pay their fair share.”

This week, NEA partnered with labor allies AFSCME, SEIU and AFT to create a television spot about the cuts that will begin airing March 4. Called “Remembered,” it singles out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and six members of the Republican-controlled House: Reps. Gary Miller and Jeff Denham of California, Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa, and Rep. Dan Benishek of Michigan.

Now is the time to pull out all the stops and urge Congress to reverse the damaging, across-the-board cuts. Contact Congress immediately! Personalize the impact of the cuts with real-life stories.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

VIEW AND SHARE NEW INFOGRAPHICS ON THE IMPACT OF THE CUTS

Education Votes has created new social media share-ables with national and state-specific data showing how many students will be affected by these unconscionable cuts. Please share them with your networks as soon as you can. They have already been viewed almost 100,000 times in less than 24 hours!

DEMAND ACTION TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE


This week, NEA member and California school counselor Vincent Pompei testified before the House Education & the Workforce Committee at a hearing entitled, “Protecting Students and Teachers: A Discussion on School Safety.” He focused on the need to create a safe learning environment in schools beyond just physically securing the building. From his testimony:

“When students feel safe and connected at school, they are more likely to learn. Yet most educators get no training—we call it “professional development”—in what it takes to create a school climate that nourishes mental well-being as well as academic success.

If our nation is serious about keeping students safe, that has got to change. We must do more than react after the damage has been done. We must invest in professional development that acknowledges the need for “preventive care”—a healthy, safe, and inclusive school climate.”

Pompei also addressed the issue of student-to-counselor ratios. The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1. In California, where Pompei lives, the ratio exceeds 1,000 to 1—“a caseload not even Superman could handle!” he observed in his testimony.

Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is marking up proposed gun violence legislation. Let your Senator know that you support stronger, sensible measures to prevent gun violence and keep our children and communities safe.

NEA is advocating for a multi-pronged approach to curbing the gun violence plaguing our nation. In addition to stronger laws to limit access to weapons of war, we support:

  • Enhancing school safety while giving local districts the flexibility to decide what they need — counselors, nurses, or other personnel.
  • Providing professional development for all school staff in cultural competence, conflict management, and anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Expanding and improving mental-health services.

Learn more about NEA’s efforts to ensure the safety of all students.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

  • E-mail your Members of Congress — Tell them enough is enough. Tell them to take action immediately to help prevent more senseless deaths from gun violence.
  • Sign NEA’s petition — Support meaningful action on preventing gun violence, bullying, and expanding and improving mental-health services.
  • Send your stories to edinsider@nea.org— Lawmakers need to hear from educators about what they can do to help prevent more tragedies. Have you or your school been touched by gun-related violence? What have you experienced as an educator when discussing such incidents with your students? Tell us!

SPEAK UP FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM


NEA’s priorities for comprehensive immigration reform include providing a path to legal citizenship, promoting family unity, and passing the DREAM Act. Read NEA’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on this issue.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

VAWA REAUTHORIZATION PASSES!


On February 28, the House passed the NEA-supported Senate version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act by a margin of 286-138. Click here to see how your representative voted. President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law shortly. In addition to streamlining and updating VAWA, the bill provides important new protections for LGBT and Native American women, and will help ensure the continued funding of critical VAWA-supported programs. Since the enactment of VAWA, the rate of domestic violence has been cut in half and the number of people who have died at the hands of an intimate partner has fallen by 34 percent for women and by 57 percent for men.

CHEERS AND JEERS


Cheers to:

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Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) and to Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for sponsoring bipartisan resolutions recognizing Read Across America in the House and the Senate, respectively.

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Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) and 17 Republican colleagues who sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) urging them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Jeers to:

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Jeers to Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA) for proposing a “sequester substitute” that would continue job-killing, economy-slowing deep cuts of $85 billion this year alone, putting essential services like education at even greater risk while preserving tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.