Monday, June 21, 2010


I have been teaching at my school for 18 years. My school is in a poor district that has not passed a levy for new money in 15 years. Professional development was cut by 65% and we also face material budget cuts. A ban on buying new text books is in effect for the next 10 years, and some departments are getting short of books. A levy that could pass this fall will cut all AP and psychology classes, the vocational electives (industrial tech classes, Family and Consumer Science, and career classes), agricultural education, and an award-winning ROTC program. Our school is 10-25% special education, and the special education teachers worry about what their students will take for classes. More students will be in study hall, and the students who do better with hands-on classes are being left behind. All of our jobs could be cut this summer. – Karin from Ohio

The fight continues to pass an education jobs fund that will save hundreds of thousands of educator jobs and ensure the investments necessary to help all students succeed. The next few weeks before Congress adjourns for July 4th are absolutely critical if we are to win this fight. House Appropriations Chairman, and strong public education advocate, Dave Obey (D-WI) remains deeply committed to passing this essential funding. But, others in Congress still need convincing – and you are the best messengers!

TAKE ACTION TODAY! Keep the e-mails and calls coming! Ask colleagues, friends, and family to join this fight:
Continue to e-mail your Members of Congress to support funding to save education jobs in the emergency funding bill (known as the “emergency supplemental” funding bill). Through June 23, e-mail Congress via the link provided here and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win an iPod Nano! Full contest rules are available here.
You can still call 1-866-608-6355 to contact your Representative in Congress. You will hear talking points and will be connected to the United States Capitol Switchboard – ask for your House Member. Tell your Representative that public education faces a budget catastrophe and that he/she should support including investments to save education jobs in the emergency supplemental funding bill.

Share your story. Is your school seeing increased class sizes? Shorter school weeks? Programs cut or eliminated? Tell us what is happening in your school and how it will impact your students.
SPEAK UP and Keep Up on the Latest News -- Visit Education Votes, where you will find television and radio ads, print ads, audio news releases, and many other tools to help you spread the word.

This week, the Senate failed to get the needed votes to move forward on tax extenders legislation (H.R. 4213) that includes a number of provisions of great importance to educators. As negotiators work on a scaled-back package that should garner more support, we need to keep the pressure on. The American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes, and Preventing Outsourcing Act will:

Extend aid to states to help cover Medicaid costs – to take pressure off state budgets and prevent cuts to education and other important priorities. Even though the House stripped this very important funding from its bill, the money is still in the Senate package at this time. Many states have prepared next year’s budgets counting on this funding. If it doesn’t pass, states will have to cut education and other important programs even further.

Provide relief for private pension plan sponsors to help deal with the dramatic losses incurred during the market crashes of 2008 and 2009.

Extend the tax deduction for educators’ out-of-pocket classroom supply expenses. This deduction has expired and must be extended in order to be available when educators file their taxes next year.

Extend unemployment benefits until the end of 2010 – to help struggling families make ends meet and address the great instability in many of our students’ lives caused by family financial crises.

The tax extenders bill will help fund schools, ease financial burdens for educators buying school supplies for students, and help students' families survive this economic crisis. We owe it to our students to protect them as much as possible from this financial crisis.

Contact your Members of Congress Today! Urge your Senators to support the tax extenders bill (H.R. 4213).


Hundreds of thousands of educators and other public employees continue to be penalized by unfair Social Security offsets –the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision. NEA has been waging an aggressive campaign to repeal these unfair laws.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, appointed by President Obama, has been charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. Entitlement programs such as Social Security fall within the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Commission will make recommendations to Congress and the President by December 1, 2010.

The Commission will hold a public forum on June 30 and is also soliciting comments via e-mail. E-mail the Commission at Tell them:

Social Security Social Security is the cornerstone of the social safety net for America’s retired workers.

The program and its benefits must be protected.

The Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision unfairly reduce or eliminate the EARNED Social Security benefits of hundreds of thousands of dedicated public servants.
[Share with the Commission your story about how the offsets have impacted you, or will impact you, when you retire]

Commission members should call for repeal of the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision.