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Letter to the Senate supporting an increase in the minimum wage

January 24, 2007

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.

NEA members know first-hand the impact of poverty on children's ability to learn and succeed. We are deeply concerned that too many of our nation's working families simply cannot afford to provide the most basic necessities for their children. Raising the minimum wage is critical given the pressures on lower-income families, including increasing costs of health care, prescription drugs, child care, and other essential expenses.

Raising the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour will add $4,400 to the income of full-time, year-round workers -- enough for a low-income family of three to afford a year of groceries, a year and a half of heat and electricity, more than nine months of rent, or the full two-year tuition for a community college degree. 

Raising the minimum wage plays a vital role in ensuring family stability and the well-being of thousands of students in our public schools. We urge your support for this important increase.


Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics