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NEA’s Legislative Report Card: most polarized Congress in 13 years

GOP leadership repeatedly failed to put students, families ahead of bipartisan politics in last Congress


WASHINGTON - January 18, 2018 -

Washington—The National Education Association today released its Legislative Report Card for the 115th Congress, 1st Session, which assesses votes and other relevant legislative actions from January through December 2017. The NEA Legislative Report Card tracks individual members of Congress overall support for public education, students and educators, with each member receiving a letter grade of A through F. The votes scored included the confirmations of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, the FY2018 budget and private school vouchers, among other votes. Key findings from the 2017 NEA Legislative Report Card include:

§ The polarization of Congress grew to a 13-year high

§ Forty-five Congressional Republicans earned passing grades in 2017 compared to 104 in 2016.

§ 204 representatives, including 193 Democrats and 11 Republicans, earned an A. 195 Republican representatives earned a grade of F;

§ In the Senate, 50 Republican senators earned a grade of F; one Republican senator earned a B; 49 senators (46 Democrats, 2 Independents, 1 Republican) earned a grade of A.

“This year’s Legislative Report Card is the most polarized Congress of any we have evaluated in the past 13 years using our current rating system,” said Marc Egan, NEA Director of Government Relations. “This breaks the bipartisan trend we have seen in previous years, and it reflects the misguided policy priorities of the Republican leadership in Congress, who have, time and again, put partisan politics and ideology ahead of students and families.

“The stakes are high. The outcome of what happens in Washington has a direct and immediate impact on students, educators, and their families. While we are disappointed that the glimmers of bipartisanship reflected in previous Report Cards faded in the first Session of the 115th Congress, we remain optimistic that, moving forward, Congress will find ways to work together to improve education for all students as well as the lives of working families.”

NEA revamped its scoring system in 2005. NEA notifies members of Congress in writing and in advance any time NEA may score a vote in the Report Card. In addition to votes, Report Card grades also reflect other key legislative actions, such as behind-the-scenes advocacy for education and educators, bill co-sponsorships, committee votes and congressional members’ accessibility to education advocates in their home state or district. To view the full NEA Legislative Report Card for the 115th Congress, click here.

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The National Education Association (www.nea.org) 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 mgonzalez@nea.org