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NEA Launches New Round of Ads in Battleground States Calling on Senators to Support Funding to Reopen School Buildings Safely


WASHINGTON - July 15, 2020 -

With the coronavirus pandemic causing budget shortfalls in states and localities across the country, and with concerns mounting among educators, parents and health experts around safely opening school buildings this fall, the National Education Association announced today that it will run a new round of digital ads in six battleground states, calling on the Senate to pass the funding needed to reopen schools safely. 
 
The new six-figure buy is the third wave in a series of ongoing NEA ads in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, and North Carolina. The ads demand senators in these battleground states step up now and pass the necessary funding before millions of educator jobs are lost and billions of dollars in education funding cuts take away the resources and support students need when they return to the classroom. 
 
“No one wants to be back in the classroom with our students more than educators. We love our students, our public schools, and our communities, and that is why we need to do this right. We must ensure students have the best possible learning experience this fall. This means all students, whether they are Black, brown or white, have the tools and resources necessary to succeed. Public health experts agree that in order to return to the classroom safely, students and educators need masks and other personal protective equipment. Schools need soap, hand sanitizing stations, and specialized cleaning supplies — none of which grow on trees or are free,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. 
 
“Our students need more support than ever this fall. Nearly one million public school jobs have already been lost, with hundreds of thousands more at risk. Yet these senators are not leading in any way to help ensure students will have safe, resourced schools. That is why we are launching these new ads demanding that senators stop stalling and do their jobs. Educators can’t pay for these supplies and equipment out of their own pockets. School districts can’t simply hold bake sales to pay educators’ salaries. Mitch McConnell and the Senate must stop stalling and support students and public schools, like the House has done by passing the HEROES Act,” Eskelsen García added.
 
Due to massive state and local funding shortages, experts warn that looming budget cuts will not only impact the educators who receive those pink slips and their families. It also will profoundly impact the 51 million students who attend public schools and their families, especially our most vulnerable students, in particular students of color and children living in poverty. A recent report shows that public schools face $200 billion in funding cuts and nearly 2 million educator jobs will be lost.  
 
The latest polling shows that 76 percent of voters support the HEROES Act, including 68 percent of Republican voters. Only 16 percent oppose the legislation. 
 
Examples of the ads can be found here:
 

  

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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, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.
 

CONTACT: Eric Jotkoff  (202) 822-7355, ejotkoff@nea.org