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NEA president comments on Donald Trump’s choice for vice president

‘Choice of unpopular Mike Pence stays on path to further divide us’

WASHINGTON - July 15, 2016 -

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García today provided the following statement regarding Donald Trump’s selection of Gov. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, as his vice presidential running mate.

“Donald Trump had a choice to make with his pick for running mate: to unite rather than divide our country. Unfortunately, Trump’s pick of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate indicates that he is bent on tearing us apart with divisive rhetoric, dangerous ideas, and bad choices.

“A darling of the extreme Republicans and the Tea Party, Mike Pence has been terrible for Indiana’s students, families and public schools. As an unpopular and divisive governor, he pushed for draconian cuts to K-12 public schools at the same time that he diverted funds via private vouchers schemes from public to private schools and significantly expanded the number of corporate-run, unaccountable charter schools. He recklessly led the charge to discriminate against LGBT individuals for which he received significant pushback from the business community. And as a member of Congress, Pence supported U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s harmful budget of 2012 in which Ryan attempted to balance the budget on the backs of America’s most vulnerable — kids, students and seniors — while failing to demand corporations and the rich to pay their fair share.

“Gov. Pence and Donald Trump do not share the same values educators, students and working families want and expect in the White House. At a time when Americans are looking for a president who can bring people together, Gov. Pence and Donald Trump would take the country in the wrong direction. Trump’s choice of Gov. Pence is further evidence that he is temperamentally unfit to make the right choices and tough decisions to run America.”

Educators track the voting records of Members of Congress and their overall support for public education, students and educators. During eight of the 12 years that Gov. Pence served in the U.S. House of Representatives, he earned an F on the official National Education Association legislative report card.

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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. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez, NEA Communications  202-822-7823,