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Education gets air time in first Democratic presidential debate

NEA President: ‘Clinton scored an A-plus tonight…clearly demonstrated her strong leadership’

WASHINGTON - October 13, 2015 -

The five Democratic presidential candidates met for the first time tonight in Las Vegas to discuss and debate the issues that affect Americans. The following statement can be attributed to Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators:

“As Americans prepare to pick our next president, public education must be part of the conversation. Tonight we heard five Democratic presidential candidates talk about the real issues that are challenging Americans. Substantive issues—such as expanding early childhood education, closing the opportunity gaps, and addressing the crushing college debt that is crippling students—were given focus because these candidates understand the path to a stronger America starts in our classrooms. While we want to see public education play a larger role in future debates, we were pleased to hear the candidates’ visions to keep America moving forward.

“Hillary Clinton scored an A-plus tonight. She clearly demonstrated her strong leadership along with a depth of knowledge when speaking about a woman’s right to equal pay, advocating for paid leave for working families and demanding that all children have equal opportunity to a great public education. Her vision for America is one that I want for my granddaughter and America’s students.”


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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Communications, 202-270-5333 cell,


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