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NEA leaders ask members to consider Obama re-election

Mid-term elections provided “teachable moment,” says NEA President

WASHINGTON - May 06, 2011 -

On Thursday, May 5, 2011, the National Education Association’s (NEA) Political Action Committee approved a recommendation to NEA’s highest governing body—the Representative Assembly—to support the re-election of President Barack Obama.

“This is the time to make decisions about the direction of our country, and we have real choices to make.  As activists, engaged educators, we should get involved now,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  “Will we allow Congress to gut Medicare, slash education and cut Social Security, and continue to make it just fine for hedge fund managers and corporations to sidestep paying taxes?  Or will we act and assert the real American values of hard work and responsibility, a commitment to a vibrant middle class, to college affordability, and the opportunity to reach the American Dream?  It is time to stand strong for what we believe in and what is right for students and families, schools and the nation.  President Barack Obama has proven he deserves a second term.”

During its meeting on July 2-5 in Chicago, the NEA Representative Assembly will meet to act on the PAC’s recommendation.  The NEA PAC Council – the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education – includes every NEA state association president and representatives from NEA’s constituent caucuses.  The Council is charged with making a recommendation to the NEA Representative Assembly. 

The Representative Assembly is the primary legislative and policymaking body of NEA.  It consists of some 9,000 delegates representing local and state affiliates, teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty, and student and retired members nationwide.

“NEA support in elections is powerful; our members are reliable and consistent voters.  One in a hundred Americans is an NEA member, and our members live in every congressional district in the nation,” said Van Roekel.  “We take this responsibility seriously and felt it was important to make the recommendation sooner, rather than later.”

The recommendation makes NEA—the nation’s largest union—the first to signal formal support of the President.  NEA supported President Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

“The mid-term elections have shown us what can happen when education legislation and decisions are left in the hands of politicians who do not support public education—those of us in education call this a teachable moment,” said Van Roekel. 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee 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:  Anitrá Speight  (202) 822-7823,