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McCain's "New Reforms" Are the Same, Tired Schemes of the Bush Administration

Republican candidate ignores chronic underfunding of public schools

WASHINGTON - July 17, 2008 -

If elected president, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he would continue the Bush administration's push for school vouchers, while weakening teacher certification criteria and refusing to provide public schools the basic resources they need to comply with the unfunded mandates of No Child Left Behind. McCain's comments were made today at the NAACP national convention in Ohio.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Reg Weaver:

"There's nothing new about John McCain's 'new proposals.' They are the same, tired old schemes of the Bush administration, starting with private school vouchers.

"Proposals for vouchers have been around for more than 50 years, and have been consistently rejected by voters because they don't improve learning. The way to give every parent a meaningful choice in their child's education is to provide quality public schools with smaller classes, well-trained teachers, and safe and modern facilities.

"We won't get well-trained teachers by weakening professional requirements, another bad old idea that McCain is recycling. And bonuses for test scores are no substitute for professional pay.

"Senator McCain said he is 'committed to providing the resources needed to succeed,' but his record says otherwise. He has voted against fully funding No Child Left Behind, voted against college aid programs, voted against school lunch programs, voted against dropout prevention and voted against teacher training programs.

"Senator McCain's embrace of these old ideas is discouraging, because it indicates that he would continue the Bush administration's policy of treating educators as adversaries, not allies. Our children deserve a better approach."

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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: Will Potter  (202) 822-7823