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NEA President Van Roekel: Perez the right choice for next Secretary of Labor

WASHINGTON - March 18, 2013 -

President Barack Obama announced today that he has chosen U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez to be his next Secretary of Labor.

Perez is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and has spent nearly his entire career in public service. With the help of federal Pell Grants and student loans, as well as support from his family and community and his own hard work, Tom became the first lawyer in his family. He’s fought hard for rights for domestic workers, and against state voter ID laws and predatory lending, and also supported the expansion of medical clinics to serve the uninsured.

“President Obama hit the nail on the head with his pick of Tom Perez, who has built his career working hard for America’s workers,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “We need someone with a strong civil rights background and a healthy respect for our public education system, and Tom definitely fits the bill.”

“Our middle class needs to know someone is on their side advocating for issues that matter to them like affordable health care, access to great educational opportunities, and the ability to grow and improve. President Obama recognizes that and has made the right choice,” said Van Roekel.

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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,