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NEA to host virtual Representative Assembly July 2-3

America’s largest labor union will conduct a remote RA featuring VP Biden, Stacey Abrams, Greta Thunberg, other leading voices for public education

WASHINGTON - June 26, 2020 -

Nearly 8,000 educator delegates from every state will come together virtually during the National Education Association’s 99th Representative Assembly (RA) on July 2-3. The RA will be conducted remotely out of an abundance of caution as communities across America face the COVID-19 crisis and will have a very limited agenda. 

Vice President Joe Biden will take part in a live, virtual townhall conversation with NEA members on Friday, July 3 as part of the RA program. The 2020 RA will also be the last for Lily Eskelsen García as president of America’s largest labor union. The RA is the top decision-making body for the more than 3 million-member NEA, and sets Association policy for the coming year. However, because of the virtual format the agenda for this year’s RA wil be restricted to essential business.  NEA’s RA is the world’s largest democratic deliberative body.

“NEA’s Board of Directors has decided to convert the 2020 NEA RA into a virtual meeting, which is our safest option,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García in a previously released statement. “We cannot take the risk of educators becoming infected and spreading the virus to students, their families and colleagues, or their communities. We look forward to the 2021 RA, where we can hopefully once again come together to set policy and chart the direction of NEA business.”

Delegates will complete a streamlined agenda that will include review of the 2020-2022 a budget, a townhall-style conversation with Vice President Joe Biden and speeches by education leaders and candidates for NEA offices.  Because of the virtual setting, all votes related to business before the RA will be conducted by mail to ensure equity in participation and the security and integrity of the democratic process. Voting results will be made available later in the summer when all votes have been counted.

The 2020 RA is open and accessible to delegates only, with the exception of Vice President Biden’s address. No visitors or media access can be granted to other portions of the RA program. NEA will make available remarks and video from speakers as available.

Delegates will conduct the following business during the streamlined, virtual RA: 

Thursday, July 2, 2020: 

  • Key address from President Lily Eskelsen García
  • Remarks from former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacy Abrams
  • Debate on the 2020-2022 NEA Strategic Plan and Budget 

Friday, July 3, 2020

  • Townhall-style conversation with Vice President Joe Biden and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García (3:15 PM EDT, Media must RSVP by emailing Eric Jotkoff before July 1 at 1:00 PM EDT)
  • Remarks from NEA Executive Director Kim Anderson
  • Remarks from Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 Teacher of the Year
  • Remarks from Andrea Beeman, 2020 ESP of the Year, 
  • Remarks from Elizabeth Davenport, 2020 Higher Educator of the Year 
  • Presentation of the 2020  Friend of Education award to Greta Thunberg, climate activist
  • Remarks from candidates for NEA officer, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors
  • Final address from President Lily Eskelsen García

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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, students preparing to become teachers and public and healthcare employees. Learn more at

Richard Allen Smith