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NEA and VEA presidents comment on Clinton’s selection of running mate

NEA president: The Clinton-Kaine ticket will unite and make America strong

WASHINGTON - July 22, 2016 -

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García and Virginia Education Association President Meg Gruber today offered the following statement regarding Hillary Clinton’s pick of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate.

“Hillary Clinton’s selection of Sen. Tim Kaine signals her commitment to unite, not divide, Americans,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “The Clinton-Kaine ticket shares the same values that educators, students and working families want and expect of those aspiring to occupy the highest offices in America. Together, they will keep us safe, and they will build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. They will staunchly fight to make sure that every student receives a quality education regardless of her or his ZIP code.”

A respected mayor, popular governor, and a current U.S. Senator, Kaine has been a tireless supporter of public education and students his entire public life. As governor, Kaine expanded pre-kindergarten and championed higher education and job training. In the U.S. Senate, Kaine voted in favor of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which marked the end of No Child Left Behind and the start of a new era in public education. Along the way to reauthorize the law, Kaine often emphasized the role that educators should play in making decisions on behalf of their students. He also proposed a number of successful amendments to prepare students to excel in an ever-changing 21st century economy. And as co-founder of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, he’s been a legislative leader in the effort to include CTE in every student’s education.

“Senator Kaine has made clear through his words and deeds that he is committed to offering opportunity to the children attending our public schools,” said Meg Gruber, an earth science teacher in Prince William County and president of the Virginia Education Association. “Teachers support those who support public schools, and Senator Kaine is a proven leader who has earned our support over his decades in public service and who will team with Hillary Clinton to ensure that our kids come first.”

“To educators, this presidential election is about choices,” said Eskelsen García. “On the one hand, we have Donald Trump and Mike Pence, two unpopular candidates who remain bent on dividing the country with their over-the-top rhetoric, dangerous ideas and bad choices. On the other hand, we have Clinton and Kaine, both of whom are fundamentally committed to unite, not divide, Americans. Our choice is clear. Hillary and Tim are our partners and our friends. They will always give us a voice and seat at the table to not only create strong public schools but to create a stronger America.”

Educators track the voting records of members of Congress and their overall support for public education, students and educators. Since Kaine was elected to the U.S. Senate, he’s earned an A on the National Education Association legislative report card. In contrast, during eight of the 12 years that Gov. Pence served in the U.S. House of Representatives, he earned an F on the NEA legislative report card.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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


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