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President's Message

Cast A Ballot for Public Education


I’d rather not discuss a presidential election that is more than a year away, but candidates are everywhere. As this magazine went to press, the number of GOP candidates was 15. Fifteen! (Are you going to run?)

In July, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker—one of the most anti-worker, anti-union governors in U.S. history—announced his bid. Afterward, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued this six-word statement, which I couldn’t agree with more: “Scott Walker is a national disgrace.” That’s all it said, and that was enough.
NEA members are Democrat, Republican and Independent—about one-third, of each—so I won’t tell you how to vote. But I will say vote for yourself. Understand why we can’t elect Walker or any other candidate who wants to destroy unions or public schools.

Listen to candidates’ opinions about public education and unions. And study their voting records. You’ll see none of the GOP candidates stand with us. And by the way, every single one of them rebuffed NEA’s questionnaire about their stance on our issues.

Know what’s happening with your state’s funding, charter schools, vouchers, on-line education and “educating without rights” laws, commonly called right to work. Learn about legislation that has passed, what is coming, and who supports (or supported) bills that affect public education.

Between now and November 2016, make it your job to identify those who want to harm public education.

On second thought, I am telling you what to do: Next year, cast a ballot for yourself and for public education.
“Understand why we can’t elect any candidate who wants to destroy unions or public schools.”

NEA-Retired President Tom Curran

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