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NEA’s Legislative Report Card confirms that bipartisanship can work for students

More lawmakers more frequently put students, families ahead of partisan politics in last Congress


WASHINGTON - January 26, 2017 -

The National Education Association today issued its Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress, which assesses votes and other relevant legislative actions from January 2015 through December 2016. The Report Card tracks individual 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 2015-16.

Two findings from the 2015-16 Legislative Report Card stand out:

  • The polarization of Congress continues: 49 senators and 209 representatives earned grades of A, while 38 senators and 192 representatives earned grades of D or F.
  • A larger number of Congressional Republicans earned positive marks: 71 Republicans earned grades of A, B, or C in 2015-16, compared to 59 in 2015’s 1st Session, 46 in 2013-14, 41 in 2011-12, and 18 in 2009-10.

“We thank members of Congress in both parties who share our belief that all children have the right to a public education that helps them reach their full potential no matter their ZIP code,” said Marc Egan, NEA director of government relations. “We especially welcome the bipartisan cooperation displayed during passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), particularly given Congress’s otherwise high levels of partisanship.”

“The grades reflected in the latest NEA Legislative Report Card are a recognition that – in 2015 and 2016 -- a working majority of lawmakers viewed educators as trusted professionals best equipped to make school and classroom decisions to ensure student success,” said Egan. “We hope that the bipartisanship displayed at times during the 114th Congress will lead to greater future collaboration. We look forward to working with those lawmakers who wish to fulfill the promise of ESSA and are willing to speak up in this new Congress for the threatened interests of students and public education.”

To view the full NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress, click 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