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NEA reacts to Buttigieg plan to strengthen America’s public schools

Candidates continue to make students and public schools central to the 2020 election

WASHINGTON - December 09, 2019 -

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following statement in response to the release of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s education plan:

“As educators look towards the 2020 presidential election, they are looking for a candidate who will champion for our nation’s public schools and working families. They will support someone who will partner with parents and educators to ensure every student, no matter what zip code they live in, has access to quality public schools.

“Mayor Buttigieg’s plan includes some positive ideas that will help keep the promise to America’s children by strengthening America’s public schools and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to get a quality public education. We encourage him to continue listening to the educators who know the names of the students in the classroom about how best to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.

“Over the last several years, educators have found their collective power through the #RedForEd movement. That power was clear in major victories at the ballot box Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia this year, where educators were central in reshaping the political landscape to deliver victories for students and public schools. Now, NEA’s 3 million members will use this power to elect a champion for students and our neighborhood public schools to the White House.”

Specifically, Buttigieg’s plan calls for:

  • Ensuring universal and high-quality early learning opportunities for children from infancy to age five
  • Investing in a truly equitable public education system by tripling funding for Title I schools
  • Closing the opportunity gap by reversing inequitable funding structures at the state and local level
  • Supporting neighborhood community schools
  • Supporting educators voice in making education policy decisions 

As educators continue doing their homework to learn about each of the candidates, praise for any candidate’s proposal should not be seen as an endorsement of that candidate by the NEA. As America’s largest union and largest organization of educators, NEA will continue engaging in conversations 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.


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

Eric Jotkoff, NEA Communications