The National Education Association announced today that the largest labor union in the country will support Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary for President of the United States. Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association, an affiliate of the NEA, was in Washington this week participating in the NEA's democratic process to review all candidates and ultimately support the Clinton candidacy.
“Clinton is a strong leader who will do what is best for America’s students,” said Dallman. “For more than four decades, Clinton has fought to make sure all children have a fair opportunity to succeed regardless of their zip code. Clinton will continue to advocate on behalf of students, educators and working families because she understands the road to a stronger U.S. economy starts in America’s public schools.”
Clinton praised the hard work of NEA members to provide the education children need to grow and prosper upon learning about the Association’s support. “Our educators are the frontline fighters building a stronger and more prosperous America--and I know it is not an easy job. I know from personal experience that a teacher can make a profound difference in a child's life. My mother had a difficult and painful childhood, and when she didn't have enough to eat, her first-grade teacher noticed--and quietly shared her own lunch. Decades later, I am grateful to that teacher every day.”
Clinton is committed to giving educators a stronger voice in making a difference for their students. She has a proven record as a supporter of public education and working families that goes back decades, evidenced by her work at the Children’s Defense Fund, as the first lady of Arkansas, first lady of the United States, and as a U.S. senator she earned an “A” ranking in NEA’s Congressional Report Card. She also earned NEA’s highest honor, the Friend of Education Award, at its 1999 convention.
Clinton knows that educators, as trusted professionals, are best equipped to make school and classroom decisions to ensure student success. She will reduce the role of standardized tests in public education because she agrees with educators that no bubble test can measure a student’s curiosity. Teachers need more time to teach and students need more time for learning.
As President, Clinton said she would fight to defend workers’ right to organize and unions’ right to bargain collectively. “I will ensure that teachers always have a voice and a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their work. I will fight to raise incomes and to ensure that hardworking Americans can retire with dignity and security. We have to make sure that every family in America doesn’t just survive, but thrives. I’m honored to stand with the National Education Association to support teachers and education support professionals and grow our economy.”
More than 50 percent of all children attending public schools living in poverty, and the number of homeless children in public schools doubling since before the recession. Dallman says Clinton is the candidate who believes in a collective voice for educators, not just to maintain a fair workplace, but also to stand up and advocate for their students.
“Ask educators why they do what they do in schools around the country every day and they will respond instantly that it’s because they believe in children,” Dallman said. “Educators know that Clinton is a true partner and always will give us a voice in working to not only create stronger public schools but to create a stronger America.”