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Educators celebrate Bullock victory in Montana

WASHINGTON - November 06, 2012 -

Following is a statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on Steve Bullock’s gubernatorial win in Montana.

The election of Steve Bullock is a victory for students and for public education. At a time of increasing class sizes, inadequate school resources, and attacks on public schools, voters made clear that they want a governor who will make positive changes to benefit all students.

“Bullock’s goal is for Montana to lead the country in educational innovation, opportunity and achievement – and be a place where students are able to graduate from college without tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

“Montana’s educators’ union, MEA-AFT, endorsed Bullock and touted his efforts as attorney general to stand up to corporate CEOs who wanted to buy the state’s elections.  According to MEA-AFT’s endorsement, ‘Bullock will defend public employees’ collective bargaining rights and honor the health care benefits and retirement pensions public employees have earned.’

“Montana students will have a true advocate with Steve Bullock as governor. We congratulate him on this important win,” said Van Roekel.”

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.

Highlights on NEA in Montana

  • There are more than 18,600 NEA members in Montana
  • MEA-MFT conducted a substantial TV campaign highlighting the candidate positions on education

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 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% 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.

·         NEA several online ads that have been seen by more 13 million people.

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CONTACT: Staci Maiers, 202-822-7823,