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Educators celebrate Sherrod Brown’s reelection in Ohio

WASHINGTON - November 06, 2012 -

Following is a statement by National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel on Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“The Buckeye state will return to Washington, DC a true public education champion in Senator Sherrod Brown. His re-election is a victory for students and for public education. As educators, we are confident he will continue to make education a top priority in the Senate. He will fight for the middle class and will make sure everyone has a fair shot.

Senator Brown has been a relentless and unwavering supporter of public education in his first Senate term. When the Buckeye state faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that threatened tens of thousands of education jobs, Sen. Brown voted to provide emergency relief to the states, saving nearly 8,000 education jobs—teachers, nurses, librarians and other critical school personnel.

Senator Brown also introduced a bill to freeze student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent that was signed into law this summer by President Barack Obama, saving about 382,000 Ohio students from an even bigger student-debt load.

It’s why the Ohio Education Association, NEA’s state affiliate, enthusiastically endorsed his re-election bid.

Why Are Educators Involved in Elections?

NEA members’ top priority is ensuring that every student has access to a quality public school. That responsibility extends beyond the classroom, and means speaking up about decisions that take place outside of school yet affect their ability to educate their students. Local, state, and national politics have a direct impact on the quality of our public schools; speaking up for students requires speaking up in the political process.

Facts on NEA in Ohio

  • NEA is the largest labor union in Ohio with more than 116,000 members.
  • More than 9,795 NEA members in Ohio were active in the campaigns to support Sherrod Brown and President Obama.
  • NEA had member volunteers in 87 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
  • NEA led a massive, $1 million independent television advertising campaign to support Sherrod Brown’s re-election to the US Senate.

Facts on NEA’s Election Activity Nationally

  • One out of every 100 Americans is an NEA member. 
  • In 2008, 1 in every 50 votes cast came from an NEA member. One in every 34 votes cast came from an NEA household.
  • Our members live in every state, in every Congressional district, and in every precinct.
  • Nearly 500,000 NEA members signed up in some way to be involved in the Obama For America campaign, including direct action such as phone banking, canvassing and conducting voter registration.
  • NEA was the first labor union to move to endorse President Obama for a second term.  We did so in 2011, meaning we could gear up and start educating and organizing our members. 
  • Educators are highly reliable voters.  On average, NEA members turn out 15 percent higher than the general public in Presidential elections.
  • When it comes to political action, NEA members are involved. Almost half a million educators, NEA members, have been involved in some way in the presidential election.
  • The vast majority of teachers are women. In fact, 74 percent of NEA members are women—a critical constituency in Decision 2012.


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CONTACT: Staci Maiers, 202-822-7823,