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Annual NEA Congressional report card shows bipartisanship can work for students

Lawmakers crossed the political aisle and put students, families ahead of partisan politics


WASHINGTON - January 25, 2016 -

The National Education Association today issued its annual Legislative Report Card for the 114th U.S. Congress, 1st session, which tallies votes and other relevant legislative actions from January through December 2015. The Report Card tracks members’ of Congress overall support for public education, students and educators, with each member receiving a letter grade of A through F.

NEA notifies members of Congress in writing and in advance any time NEA may score a vote in the Report Card. In addition to votes, Report Card grades also reflect other key legislative actions, such as behind-the-scenes advocacy for education and educators, bill co-sponsorships, committee votes and Congressional members’ accessibility to education advocates in their home state or district. K-12 education policy, education funding, and the federal budget dominated the issues on which NEA scored lawmakers in 2015.

Below are the highlights of the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress:

  • With regard to the ongoing polarization in Congress, 50 senators and 200 representatives earned grades of A, while 39 senators and 201 representatives earned grades of D or F in 2015
  • However, 59 Republicans earned grades of A, B or C in 2015, compared to 46 in 2013-2014, 41 in 2011-12 and 18 in 2009-10.

The following statement can be attributed to Mary Kusler, NEA director of government relations:

“We commend the 114th Congress for listening to educators and getting the job done for students. The Congressional passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act is a direct result of what is possible when legislators from both sides of the political aisle put students ahead of partisan politics especially in an era of gridlock in Washington. This outcome also is an unequivocal recognition that many Republican lawmakers continue to believe educators – those who know the names of their students – are the most trusted professionals best equipped to make school and classroom decisions to ensure student success regardless of ZIP code.

“The stakes continue to remain high for families. We hope that the bipartisanship displayed at times last year will lead to greater future collaboration. We will continue to work with all elected officials to ensure the success of every student in America.”

To view the full NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress, visit here.
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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