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Letter to the Full Congress in Support of the Conference Report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

February 12, 2009

Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of the National Education Association’s (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to VOTE YES on the conference report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Votes associated with this issue WILL be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress.

Our nation’s families and communities are hurting.  We are confronting the most severe economic problems in generations.  Millions of Americans are struggling.  We must act quickly and responsibly to enact a plan as bold as the challenges we face. 

The investments in education included in the conference report do exactly what we need to do.  They reach the most vulnerable members of our society and put money back into our communities.  The injection of funds will stimulate the economy, save and create jobs, keep schools and libraries open, and provide students with 21st century learning environments.

Education is the best investment America can make now for long-term economic growth.  In fact, preventing one student from dropping out of school will save the government more than $209,000 over that person’s lifetime.  In contrast, without an injection of federal funds, states project further cuts in education budgets moving forward, causing our nation to fall behind in closing achievement gaps, improving student learning, and ensuring every student a great public school.

With our nation facing such great challenges, we cannot afford to be divided by partisanship.  Rather, we must work in partnership to find solutions to these challenges.  We urge you to support the conference report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to strengthen our economy now and invest in America’s future.


Dennis Van Roekel