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NEA launches “Not a Game” ad aimed at GOP obstructionism

Television and online ads ask Congress to stop playing games with students and the economy

WASHINGTON - October 11, 2013 -

The National Education Association (NEA) will launch ads on television and online asking members of Congress to stop playing games and get its priorities straight. The spot, “Not a Game,” is a six-figure television buy with a heavy digital online accompaniment that will air in the Washington, D.C., market and 4 other markets for five days starting on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The ad highlights the Tea Party Republican led obstructionism and target Congressmen Tom Cotton, Jeff Fortenberry, Tom Latham, and Chris Collins, urging them to stand up to the Tea Party and do what’s right for students and the economy.

“Congressional Tea Party Republicans have chosen to play games with the lives of our most vulnerable in society to score ideological political points,” said NEA director of government relations Mary Kusler. “They have forced deep sequester cuts, shut down the government and are on the brink of bringing the nation’s economy to its knees. Students and senior citizens will pay the price for years to come as a result. It’s time for the games to end.”

To date, a disproportionate share of the arbitrary across-the-board sequester cuts have impacted higher-poverty communities and, therefore, the students most in need. Fifty-seven thousand children have already lost critical seats in Head Start classes. Schools served by Impact Aid have already seen drastic reductions in funding, and additional harmful impacts are beginning to be felt in classrooms as the school year begins. Many school districts and their students rely heavily on federal resources for education funding; one in four students attends school in a district that receives 15-20 percent of all revenue from federal sources. For more information, including state-level data, please see this NEA analysis

It is long past time for Congress to reverse course from the austerity approach that included slashing education across the board by 5 percent this year—the equivalent of cutting nearly all education programs and Head Start by roughly $3 billion. The level of cuts imposed by sequestration have already taken federal funding back to pre-2004 levels while our nation’s schools are serving nearly 6 million more students since that time.

However, the sequester cuts are just the beginning.  The reckless government shutdown is having an impact across the country.  Students who are most in need have lost an additional 7,000 Head Start seats. Free and reduced lunch benefits are about to run out.  This is only just the beginning.

“The actions of extreme Tea Party Republicans aren’t happening in a vacuum,” said Kusler. “These cuts aren’t just numbers—every cut and every action has a real-life consequence for our children and their families. There are millions of children affected by the shutdown. This ad is aimed at holding elected officials accountable by reminding the public what is at stake.

“By pushing for deep cuts, shutting down the government, and flirting with economic disaster, Tea Party Republicans have chosen to put uncompromising partisan politics ahead of students and the American people,” said Kusler. “Congress needs to find a responsible, balanced and permanent approach to avoid inflicting further pain on students, families and communities while demanding the rich and corporations pay their fair share.”

“Not a Game” is the latest in a series of NEA ads aimed at educating the public about how Congressional actions in Washington and affect students, families and communities. The ad will run on TV and online in Washington, D.C., and online in Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and New York. Copies of the ad can be viewed at

Script –

Footage of several games flash by in quick succession: pinball, bowling, ping pong, a board game, checkers.


These…are games.

But this? This is not a game.

This is not a game.

And this is not a game, either.

But Tea Party Republicans think it’s all a game.

They recklessly forced deep cuts to education

Shut down the government,

And may even throw our country into default on its debts.

Call Speaker Boehner and tell him: Stand up to the Tea Party.


Follow @NEAMedia on Twitter


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,


Not a Game video advertisement