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Educators ramp up nationwide campaign and launch “Get it Right” ad blitz

NEA President: A revamped ESEA should promote opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students


WASHINGTON - February 16, 2015 -

Today, the National Education Association, tapping the power of its nearly 3 million educators, kicked into high gear efforts to mobilize voters across the country to inject their voices into the reauthorization process of the federal law No Child Left Behind, originally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“Now is the time to raise educators’ voices and to fight for the opportunity for all students to receive a quality public education, more time for students to learn and more time for teachers to teach,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Before Congress is a unique opportunity to get ESEA right this time. This means mapping out a new vision for our nation’s public schools, one that promotes opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students regardless of the zip code in which they live.”

During the nationwide campaign, educators will reach out to parents, community partners, and the general public to raise their voices. They will leaflet parents at schools or in key public places, host community forums, put together letter writing events, place letters to the editor in their local papers, among other proactive actions. The campaign also features a two-week earned and paid media blitz called “Get it Right.” 

“The fight must continue until we have a new federal education bill signed into law that includes the voices of educators,” emphasized Eskelsen García. “The only way to achieve that is to make sure that our members and the public are fully engaged. Unlike when the law was written in 2002, Congress must hear now from those who know best what a revamped ESEA should look like—educators. The stakes are high for our students and their future. That’s why we are launching a national effort aimed at making sure lawmakers hear directly from educators about what hasn’t worked and what needs to happen in order to get the law right this time.” 

Since Congress began in earnest the reauthorization process in January, NEA members have sent more than 30,000 emails to members of Congress. They have visited all 100 Senate offices and more than half of House offices in Washington, D.C. and back home. Similarly, 3 educators have appeared before key Senate and House reauthorizing committees and panels as expert witnesses. NEA’s “Get it Right” ad campaign coincides with the first Congressional recess and will leverages grassroots-level tactics nationwide.

Educators also will meet with their respective members of Congress and their staff during recess. For example, Washington educators will host an education roundtable with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on February 18. Similarly, Colorado educators will organize an education listening tour with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). On February 19, Maryland educators will host a statewide virtual town-hall meeting to discuss ESEA and are organizing a letter-writing event to send notes to U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D) and Barbara Mikulski (D). For a more detailed list of confirmed events and/or actions, please visit www.getESEAright.com.

The national campaign includes, radio, television, and digital ads. It also features a toll-free number (866-331-7233) where educators and the public can call Congress to tell them to get ESEA right and pass a new bill that provides more opportunities for all students. Opinion pieces such as this one that appeared in the Washington Post by the NEA and PTA presidents also are part of the campaign.

The U.S. House and Senate are fully underway in the most serious effort to rewrite the federal education law since its passage in 2002. Originally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA is the federal government’s footprint in K-12 education policy. Both chambers have made public their vision for a revamped law, and as held meetings, briefings and hearings. Similarly, NEA members have testified or appeared before Congressional panels, and the Association has made public its vision.

Click here to see the television ad and to hear the radio ad. The ads are running in select media markets in the following states: Alaska, Colo., Conn., Ga., Ill., Mass., Maine, Md., Minn., N.C., Pa., Tenn., and Wash.

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Follow the conversation: #OpportunityforALL #TimetoLearn

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The National Education Association (www.nea.org) 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: Miguel A. Gonzalez
202-822-7823,
mgonzalez@nea.org


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