Sunday, February 24, 2013


Walking off the “fiscal cliff” would be an absolute disgrace. The innocent, most vulnerable, and neediest among us would be devastated. I understand that coming to a consensus is difficult. But our representatives in Congress are adults who know how to fend for themselves, not innocent children who need all the support they can get. Put ideologies and party stances aside. Do the right thing. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. — NEA member from Illinois

 Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, economists, and educators agree: across-the-board cuts — “sequestration” in Washington-speak — is a terrible idea. Yet some in Congress seem willing to let them happen.

Next week, Congress returns from recess and unless it acts, automatic across-the-board cuts will begin March 1. We expect votes in the Senate as early as Wednesday, including a plan from Democratic leaders to raise new revenue from the very wealthy and profitable corporations instead of making indiscriminate cuts.

Now is the time to pull out all the stops — Contact Congress immediately! Personalize the impact of the cuts with real-life stories like those submitted by your fellow educators.

 NEA member Megan Allen, a fifth-grade teacher from Florida, testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on February 21. She told lawmakers:

 I have 36 students who dream. Who have beautiful goals. Who see school as the lever to break the chains of poverty and achieve something amazing in life for themselves and their families. And our school is working to make that happen … 

In my school district — Hillsborough County in Florida — 142 schools stand to lose $3 million in Title I funding. On top of that, we’ll be getting $2 million less for special education — the equivalent of shifting the entire cost of educating 1,500 students with disabilities from the federal government to Hillsborough County. Programs serving English-language learners — we have 25,000 — will be cut as well… 

Some say we cannot afford to keep spending as much on education. I say we cannot afford to spend a cent less. In fact, we should be spending more. We owe it to our youngest dreamers. Our learners. Economic recovery begins in our classrooms. Investing in education is investing in the future of America. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow — our living legacy.

Allen’s testimony was so moving, it made national news! Check it out on YouTube.

The Washington Post printed Allen’s testimony in its entirety — and her picture — under this headline, “It’s wrong to spend ‘a cent less on high-risk kids,’ teacher tells lawmakers.”

 The Hill included this quote from Allen in its story on the hearing: “My students live in poverty and have special needs that federal funding help. The looming cuts threaten all of this.”

  • Share your story — Tell us how across-the-board cuts would affect you, your students, your school, and your colleagues.
  • Email your Senators now — Tell them to support the Democratic leadership’s plan to prevent the devastating cuts. Tell them to oppose any plan that would permit those cuts to proceed.
  • Call Congress on our Educator Connector Line, 1.866.293.7278 — Urge elected officials to protect education, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
  • For the latest news, check out Kids Not Cuts on the Education Votes website.