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Obama administration off to remarkable start during first 100 days in office

Education is the cornerstone of vision for America in the 21st century

WASHINGTON - April 29, 2009 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel today thanked President Barack Obama for making education a cornerstone of his vision for America in the 21st century during his first 100 days in office. President Obama pledged to make education a top priority in his administration, noting as much during his historic inaugural address, as well as during an address to a joint session of Congress.

President Obama is off to a remarkable start after signing into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, timely landmark legislation to help struggling families, public schools, colleges and states around the country cope with the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression. He also signed legislation ensuring that women in the work force have the right to fight for the fair and equal pay for equal work. And, by extending the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, 11 million children are eligible for health coverage.

“We thank President Obama for delivering on his promise to make education a national priority. In his first 100 days, President Barack Obama is paving the way for a more prosperous and stronger America, affirming that the road to economic recovery runs through the nation’s classrooms.

“We firmly believe that making the largest investment of federal funds in the history of public education, coupled with President Obama’s five-pillar plan for the transformation of public education—which encompasses universal preK to higher education and everything in between—gets us closer toward the goal of great public schools for every student.

“While we still have miles to go before we dig ourselves out of this economic and financial crisis, we urge President Obama to stay the course as his administration moves forward to tackle the pressing issues of our times—stabilizing the economy, ushering energy independence, modernizing the nation’s education system, and reforming health care. 

“We look forward to continue working with President Obama and Congress to enact an agenda as bold as the challenges facing us.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 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,