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Letter to House Democrats on State Battles

March 08, 2011

Dear Representative:

The National Education Association, representing 3.2 million educators across the nation, would like to share with you some materials in advance of today’s hearing: “The State-by-State and Congressional Assaults on Workers’ Rights and the Middle Class."

NEA is deeply troubled by the attacks on teachers and other public employees under the guise of addressing budget crises.  Our members – 3.2 million dedicated educators across the nation – know that this is a tough economy and they are willing to sacrifice.  But, precisely because this is a difficult economy, we have to focus on the essentials, and nothing is more essential than giving our children a quality education that will prepare them for good jobs.

The labor movement in this country has been responsible for safety standards, the minimum wage, fair employment practices, and more.  Collective bargaining rights allow educators to raise concerns about class size, school safety, and other important teaching and learning conditions.  Simply put, teaching conditions are student learning conditions, and educators’ voices are critical to ensuring that all students have what they need to succeed.  Eliminating collective bargaining won’t save jobs or reduce deficits.  It will take away a critical voice in decisions impacting our students, schools, and communities. 

Attached for your information are:

  • A copy of the testimony of NEA member Courtney Johnson, a teacher from Ohio who will be speaking at today’s hearing.
  • Reports from the Economic Policy Institute refuting false claims that public employees are overcompensated.
  • State Battles Overview: A backgrounder outlining the challenges facing public employees at the state level.

We thank you for holding this important hearing and for your attention to this critical information. 


Kim Anderson         
Director of Government Relations

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy