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NEA President Lily Eskelsen García meets with Gov. Martin O’Malley

Interview is a required part of NEA’s recommendation process for the 2016 presidential campaign

WASHINGTON - June 18, 2015 -

NEA president Lily Eskelsen García met with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Thursday, as part of the Association’s recommendation process for the 2016 presidential campaign. Gov. O’Malley is seeking the support of NEA, the largest union in the country with nearly 3 million members. NEA launched its presidential recommendation process earlier this year. All viable presidential candidates from both political parties were invited to participate in NEA’s presidential recommendation process.

NEA president Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:
“Recommending a candidate for president of the United States is a civic responsibility that educators take seriously. We appreciate Gov. Martin O’Malley taking the time to meet and discuss key issues for the 2016 presidential campaign. We know the stakes are high, and identifying the candidate who best represents the values of educators, students, and working families is critically important.”

“We are asking the tough questions that get to the heart of the issues that students and families are facing every day. They see what is happening in their schools and communities. They know that all students deserve the support, tools, and time to learn. But are politicians willing to commit to the success of every student regardless of his or her zip code? That is the key question that educators will ask over and over again. Because when all students succeed, we not only create strong public schools, we are building a stronger America.”

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley:
“We need to do a better job of listening to the people who are doing the job. I’ve never believed one could make teachers the enemy and expect to improve student and classroom outcomes.

“The issue of more time in the classroom is related to this holistic approach about how we educate children. Increasing the frequency of tests doesn’t necessarily increase the quality of education. We have to be mindful of the whole child—their development, their nutrition, their health. Learning is about more than that feedback loop of tests and quizzes.

“As president I would make education funding an economic issue and continue to spread that understanding that the more a child learns, the more that child will earn and the better for our entire economy. As governor, we made public education a priority by partnering with teachers, and by not doing less but by doing more.

“No child is a spare American. In Maryland, we came together to forge the consensus to make the investments at the state level to give our children the quality education they deserve. There’s so much the federal government can do better in education but we won’t do better if we insist on doing less, not more.”

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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