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Vice President Biden to educators: America needs you

Educators get fired up and ready to go reelect President Obama

WASHINGTON - July 03, 2012 -

—“Four more years, four more years,” was the chant coming from the crowd of 15,000 when Vice President Joe Biden wrapped up a barn-storming speech at the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly. Accompanied by Dr. Jill Biden, a life-long educator and former member of the NEA, Biden reaffirmed the role NEA members have in advancing the cause of public education for all and launched a staunch defense of educators and their professions.

“You make dreams a reality,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “My mother and father never doubted that I could become vice president or president of the United States. No group of professionals can make that possible other than the educators of this great country. You know better than anyone that our success in the 21st century depends on our ability to educate all children. And that starts with the women and men in our nation’s schools.”

Biden had harsh words for those who have criticized public education, educators and their unions. “The other team doesn’t believe in public education,” said the Vice President. “They don’t know about all the unselfish acts you perform on behalf of our students, your schools or your communities.”

“In all my years in politics, I can’t think of a candidate for president who’s made such a direct assault on such an honorable profession,” said Biden. “It should be no surprise that the same people who demonize you and your professions want to silence your voices. These are political attacks, plain and simple. They should be thinking about making your job easier, not more difficult.”

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel echoed Vice President Biden’s comments, noting, “Let’s use our power as individuals, and let’s use our collective strength –the power of three million working together, with passion and commitment—to improve the lives of all our students.”

NEA members overwhelmingly endorsed the reelection of President Barack Obama during last year’s annual meeting in Chicago, making NEA the first labor union to do so in the 2012 presidential campaign. With members in every congressional district, NEA is gearing up to reach out and educate millions of eligible voters during the 2012 election, focusing on Association members and their families.

“Now more than ever, we need President Obama and Vice President Biden to finish the job they started,” said Van Roekel. “We need them to stand up to politicians across the country whose misplaced priorities are hurting our children with larger class sizes, with less instruction time, and by disrespecting the public school employees who help our children learn.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and education support professionals.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,