Friday, November 11, 2011

NEA Email Info

American Education Week will be celebrated across the nation the week of November 13. As we highlight the importance of public education, we must also take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the deplorable school and campus conditions faced by far too many students and educators. On average, the buildings that house our public schools are more than 40 years old. Our schools need an estimated $500 billion in repairs and upgrades. We are shortchanging an entire generation of students by sending them to school in old, crumbling, overcrowded, and often unsafe buildings. They deserve better.

Investment in school and campus infrastructure provides a win-win scenario – it improves teaching and learning environments, helps maximize student achievement, and creates jobs that help stimulate local economies while putting more money into the hands of working families. We can’t afford to wait any longer!

Take Action Today:

Tell your Members of Congress to put Americans back to work and ensure our children the education they deserve by supporting school and campus modernization. Tell Congress to support the the Fix America’s Schools Today Act (S. 1597/H.R.2948), which would provide needed funds to ensure students the learning environments so essential to their success.
Share your story -- Keep the stories coming. We are using your stories to help put pressure on Members of Congress to do the right thing and focus on creating a great public school for every student.
Other Ways You Can Help Celebrate American Education Week:

Help fund a teacher’s classroom project. Educators spend on average $350 a year out of their own pockets on classroom materials. To help them, the NEA Foundation is partnering with DonorsChoose.org to fulfill their wish lists for their students. Search NEA members’ project requests for classroom learning needs. Select those you like, donate what you can, and the NEA Foundation will match it, up to $250 per request.
Take the Priority Schools Pledge. How do we expose and close the education gaps that deny our students the basics and keep opportunity always a zip code or two away? By showing that our communities will no longer sit quietly at the back of the line for quality teachers and adequate resources. Students succeed if adults intercede, working together and standing for nothing less than excellence. Take the Priority Schools Pledge and NEA will show you a way you can be involved.
Nominate a Classroom Superhero! NEA’s Classroom Superheroes campaign allows parents, students, and community members to show educators the support they deserve. Find out more and then nominate your classroom superheroes.
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EDUCATION FUNDING AT RISK AGAIN: BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT VOTE IMMINENT

The House is set to vote the week of November 14 on a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would require a balanced budget. Overall, a balanced budget amendment would result in the largest cuts in federal spending in modern history. It simply will not be possible to achieve the spending levels required under any balanced budget amendment without massive cuts in education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs that meet crucial national needs.

Educators understand that Congress must work to ensure America’s long-term economic prosperity and that we must address the nation’s serious fiscal challenges. However, cutting education funding and slashing programs that serve children, seniors, and working families is not the answer. Claims that families and states balance their budgets are erroneous. Most families have mortgages and car loans, and take on other debt to provide for their children’s futures. In addition, while many states must balance their operating budgets, they take on debt for capital costs and job-creating projects such as building roads, bridges, and schools.

Take Action Today: As educators, NEA members have a unique perspective on the importance of investing in education and protecting the most vulnerable in our nation. The stories you can share with policymakers about the impact of spending cuts on your students, colleagues, and communities can be very powerful. Tell Congress to oppose a balanced budget amendment.

- Be of Good Cheer!

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