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NEA applauds Sanders K-12 public education proposal

Candidates continue to make public education central to the 2020 election

WASHINGTON - May 18, 2019 -

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following statement in response to the release of Senator Bernie Sanders’ education proposal:

“At the core of Sen. Sanders’ proposal is an understanding that as a country we have a responsibility to provide a great neighborhood public school for every student in every ZIP code and that improving our public schools requires investing in them -- not taking away resources. This proposal is welcome as the nation marks the anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which remains an unrealized promise.

“For more than a year now, the national #RedForEd movement, led by parents and students, has spearheaded a national conversation to demand the public schools our students deserve. The Sanders plan recognizes this movement and rightly calls for an increase in teacher pay, which is badly needed at a time when the pay for all educators continues to fall and they are leaving the profession in droves.

“Educators also appreciate his call to ban unaccountable, for-profit charter schools that have taken scarce funding and opportunity from students in neighborhood public schools, and that for too long have helped to further racial discrimination and segregation in America’s schools.

“What is becoming increasingly clear in light of this and other recent education proposals is that, as the eyes of the nation turn to the 2020 presidential campaign, the country is hungry to elect a president who will not only do what is in the best interest of public education but also ensure that students have the schools they deserve.”

NEA is in the early stages of evaluating 2020 presidential candidates and recently launched its Strong Public Schools 2020 campaign. Praise for any candidate’s proposal should not be seen as an endorsement of that candidate. As America’s largest organization of educators, NEA will be engaging in conversation with all candidates as we vet them to determine who has the best ideas for ensuring all students, regardless of where they live, receive support, tools, and time to learn.

Educators are trusted and powerful voices in every community. NEA represents 1 in 100 Americans, and 1 in 39 voters comes from an NEA household. NEA members are located in every U.S. congressional district, including key battleground states, which makes them key electoral influencers.

                             Follow NEA on Twitter at @NEAmedia #StrongPublicSchools



The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 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