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Statement from NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen on tonight's vice presidential debate

ST. LOUIS - October 02, 2008 -

Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, will debate tonight in St. Louis, Mo. NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen will attend the debate to listen to the vice presidential nominees' vision for America.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen:

"When Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin meet tonight, moms who haven't made up their minds will pay close attention to see where they stand on the issues that keep them up at night.

"Now, more than ever, parents are concerned about whether they'll be able to afford a college education for their children.

"Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin haven't proposed a single idea to alleviate the anxiety women across the country feel when they sit down at the kitchen table to figure out this month's bills.

"Unless Gov. Palin offers a distinctly different vision from Sen. McCain on improving our nation's public schools, she's just more of the same. So far, she's failed to do anything but offer blind support for the same bad policies of the past eight years.

"Every teacher knows vouchers and pay for test scores haven't and won't work. Students achieve more when there's a qualified and caring teacher in their classroom.

"Continuing Bush's policy of starving our public schools will translate into more low-income children being left behind. Denying funding for afterschool programs is just a recipe for disaster.

"In contrast, Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden understand the link between a 21st century education system and a robust economy. They want to put our economy back on track and improve our nation's schools."

NOTE: NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen will be available for interviews immediately following tonight's debate. She will be watching the debate at the Washington University's St. Louis Athletic Complex. For interviews, please contact Steve Grant, NEA Public Relations, at 202-256-0179.

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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: Steve Grant (202) 256-0179