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President Obama to educators: Thank you for all the great work you are doing

Educators meeting in Washington cheer the president as he calls from Ohio

WASHINGTON - July 05, 2012 -

Cheers erupted from delegates to the 2012 National Education Association Representative Assembly when President Barack Obama called to thank the educators for their steadfast support of his re-election efforts and their unwavering commitment to students and public education.

The president called NEA delegates from Toledo, Ohio, the first leg of his “Betting on America” bus tour. “I want you to know that I am proud of all the great work you have done,” said President Barack Obama. “You can’t help the American people without helping educators. I’m proud to stand with you, I’m proud of your support.”

President Obama chided those who he said are playing politics with the middle class and the American Dream. He said those on the other side want to take America back to the policies of the past. Referring to Gov. Mitt Romney and Republicans leaders in Congress, the president said, “They want us to back to policies that just give big tax cuts to the wealthiest, cuts education spending, cuts investments in all the things that make us grow. We tried it and it didn’t work.”

“We know what will work,” the president told the audience of educators. “What will work is if we are making an investment in a strong and growing middle class. That starts in the classroom, the places where you and your colleagues are teaching, and leading and inspiring. I’m running for a second term as president to make sure every American has a chance to get a great education and the skills and training that today’s jobs require.”

NEA members overwhelmingly endorsed the re-election of President Barack Obama during last year’s RA in Chicago, making NEA the first labor union to endorse the president for re-election.

“Thank you President Obama for standing with us,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Together, we will stand up to politicians across the country whose misplaced priorities are hurting our schools, hurting our children with larger class sizes, with less instruction time, and by disrespecting the public school employees who are preparing our students for the 21st century. We believe in you and we are behind you all the way,” concluded Van Roekel.

The nation’s largest professional organization, NEA has members in every Congressional district. NEA is strategically organizing to reach out and educate millions of eligible voters during the 2012 election, specifically focusing on Association members and their families. The RA, with 8,000 delegates, is the largest, democratic, deliberative body in the world.

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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, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

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