Printer Friendly

The 1999 NEA Representative Assembly.

This July, nearly 10,000 NEA members elected by their state and local colleagues will gather in Orlando, Florida, for the annual NEA Representative Assembly. The four-day IRA is the Association's highest decision-making body. Delegates will be voting on proposed, amendments to the NEA Standing Rules, Constitution, and Bylaws--all listed below--and electing the NEA president, vice president, and two members of the NEA Executive Committee. Interested in following the debate at this year's RA? Check out the NEA Web site at www.nea.org. On the site will be complete, day-by-clay coverage of RA debates and actions, plus audio and text versions of major RA addresses. The action starts July 3.

Proposed Amendments to the NEA Standing Rules, Constitution, and Bylaws

STANDING RULE AMENDMENT 1

TITLE: To assign two or more microphones located at or near the seating area of each state delegation on the Representative Assembly floor for the use of that delegation.

Rule 4. Seating Arrangements

(new) G. State delegations shall be assigned to speak at two (2) or more microphones in or near the area of the state delegation's seating, without changing the existing number of microphones usually used at the Representative Assembly.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 25 delegates.) Contact Person: Robert A. Staples, Maine

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment is intended to reduce crowding at microphones and ensure that all states have ready access to microphones on the Representative Assembly (RA) floor by assigning two or more microphones to each state delegation.

NEA Conference and Facilities Management staff who plan the RA now place approximately 40 microphones on the RA floor to afford every delegate reasonable access. Microphones are open for use by any delegate and not assigned to particular delegations.

The amendment's requirement that each state delegation be assigned the use of at least two microphones without changing the total number would necessitate assigning some microphones to two or more state affiliates.

Delegates from a particular state would be allowed to speak only from the microphones assigned to their state. Delegates waiting to be recognized would need to stay near their state's microphones and would not be able to speak from wherever in the Assembly hall they chose, as is now the case. The exception to this requirement would be delegates not customarily seated with particular state delegations, such as physically challenged delegates, members of the Executive Committee, or officers of the Association.

The occasional lack of clarity from the chair about which microphone a recognized delegate will be speaking from would be reduced because delegates would always speak from one of the microphones assigned to their state.

Amendments to the Standing Rules become effective immediately after passage. In the event this amendment is approved, delegates will be notified which microphones are assigned to their delegation.

STANDING RULE AMENDMENT 2

TITLE: To increase to two (2) hours the amount of time the Representative Assembly is required to spend debating new business at all meetings after the first business meeting.

Rule 6. Order of Business and Debate

K. (Fifth paragraph) Items of new business submitted in accordance with this section shall be the first business item at all business meetings except the first business meeting of the Representative Assembly and these new business items shall be considered for at least [one] two hours. (No other changes.)

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 25 delegates.) Contact Person: Jon C. Aull, Maryland

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment increases from one hour to two hours the amount of time the Representative Assembly is required to devote to the consideration of new business at all business meetings after the first business meeting.

The intent is to reduce the amount of time needed to complete new business at the final business meeting of the Representative Assembly by requiring that more time be devoted to new business at earlier meetings.

STANDING RULE AMENDMENT 3

TITLE: To require that members with points of information be recognized in the same order as speakers for and against, rather than being given preference in recognition.

Rule 6. Order of Business and Debate

(new) W. Points of information (questions) shall be considered in order of receipt just as would any request to speak for or against an item and would therefore not be preferential in the same manner as points of order.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 25 delegates.) Contact Person: Karen Russell, California

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment would require that the chair recognize speakers with points of information in the same manner as those speaking for or against an issue being debated.

Under the current administrative practice at the Representative Assembly, the chair alternately recognizes speakers for and against an issue, calling on speakers with points of information on a preferential basis as they seek recognition. This amendment would remove the preference for points of information during the regular debate. Points of information may still be called after debate on an item has been closed. Under the amendment, the chair could choose to recognize speakers with points of information alternating with speakers for and against the issue being debated.

CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT 1

TITLE: To require that NEA-Retired members be counted when computing the number of directors to which a state affiliate is entitled on the NEA Board of Directors and to require that directors representing NEA-Retired members be counted when computing representation entitlements on the Board for administrators, classroom teachers in higher education, and Active members employed in educational support positions.

Article V. Board of Directors

Section 1. Composition

The Board shall consist of (a) at least one (1) director from each association affiliated with the Association as a state affiliate, (b) six (6) directors for the retired members of the Association, and (c) three (3) directors for the Student members of the Association.

Each state unit shall be entitled to an additional director for each 20,000 Active and Retired NEA members of the Association, provided that if the number of state directors reaches one hundred fifty (150), the number of directors to which the state units are entitled shall be adjusted to prevent the total from exceeding one hundred fifty (150). The Board of Directors shall adopt rules for implementing this provision.

(No changes to the remainder of the section.)

h. Student [and retired] representation on the Board of Directors shall not be computed in determining the representation entitlements of administrators, classroom teachers in higher education, or Active members employed in educational support positions.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 50 delegates.) Contact Person: Ursula Slavick, Maine

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment would include NEA-Retired members in state membership totals when the number of representatives on the Board of Directors to which a state is entitled is computed. Seven state affiliates would receive an additional director immediately if the amendment is approved because the added retired members would increase the membership of those affiliates to or beyond the 20,000 threshold that would entitle them to another director. These states are Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and Utah. Article V, Section 2.d of the Constitution specifies that only Active members may run for these positions. Bylaw 5-1 states that only Active members may vote in the elections for these positions.

Only Active members are now considered in determining the number of directors to which a state affiliate is entitled on the NEA Board of Directors. Article V, Section 1 of the NEA Constitution allocates an additional director beyond the first for each 20,000 Active members of the Association. When the total of state directors reaches 150 under this formula, the number of directors to which each state affiliate is entitled will be adjusted to prevent the total from exceeding 150.

A requirement in Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution that six directors representing Retired members of the Association serve on the Board of Directors was added in 1993, based on a recommendation by the Special Committee on Organizational Streamlining.

The number of state directors on the Board is currently 135. The seven new directors would raise the total to 142, still less than the 150 needed to trigger a change in the representation formula. The average number of Retired members in each of NEA's 53 state affiliates is approximately 3,000.

The second part of this amendment would require that the six directors representing NEA-Retired be included in the total when the computation is performed for the number of directors to which administrators, classroom teachers in higher education, and Active members employed in education support positions are entitled. Article V, Section 1.h of the Constitution currently excludes the six directors who represent NEA-Retired members from the total when this computation is performed.

Article V, Section 1.d-f requires that administrators be represented in proportion to their membership in the Association, that classroom teachers in higher education be represented at least in proportion to their membership in the Association, and that Active members employed in educational support positions be represented at least in proportion to their membership in the Association. If the percentage of members elected to the Board fails to meet the required proportion for each of these membership classifications, the Representative Assembly elects the necessary directors at large.

The addition of the six NEA-Retired directors would further increase the base from 142 to 148. Because the amendment would base the entitlement computations on a higher total number of directors, a greater number of directors from the specified membership classifications could be required to meet the mandated minimums.

CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT 2

TITLE: To require that members with disabilities comprise at least three percent (3%) of the NEA Board of Directors.

Article V. Board of Directors

Section 1. Composition

c. Members from ethnic minorities shall comprise at least twenty (20) percent of the Board and members with disabilities shall comprise at least three (3) percent of the Board. The Representative Assembly shall elect additional directors as appropriate to assure such representation of ethnic-minorit[y]ies and People with disabilities [representation]. If between meetings of the Representative Assembly representation of ethnic-minorit[y]ies and people with disabilities [representation] on the Board falls below twenty (20) percent and three percent, respectively, the Board shall elect additional directors as appropriate to assure the necessary [ethnic-minority] representation, provided that such an election can be held at a Board meeting prior to the meeting that takes place in connection with the Annual Meeting. Candidates for these positions shall be nominated by members of the Board and chairpersons of caucuses for ethnic- minorit[y]ies and people with disabilities [caucus chairpersons], and any ethnic-minority person or person with disabilities who otherwise is eligible to serve on the Board may be a candidate. The person(s) elected shall serve until an election can be held by the next Representative Assembly in accordance with this section.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 50 delegates.) Contact Person: Eric Berg, California

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment would create a minimum participation level guarantee of three percent (3%) for NEA members with disabilities on the NEA Board of Directors, similar to the twenty percent (20%) minimum now in effect for ethnic minorities. Steps for maintaining this minimum level when elections of directors at the state affiliate level do not meet the three percent (3%) minimum would be similar to those already in place for ethnic minorities, including the election of one or more at-large directors by the Representative Assembly as needed.

NEA would need to develop a clear definition for "person with disabilities." The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disabled persons as those meeting one of these criteria:

* has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,

* has a record of impairment, or

* is regarded as having an impairment.

Impairments include physical disorders, such as cosmetic disfigurement or loss of a limb, as well as mental and psychological disorders. ADA specifically protects workers with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); cancer; cerebral palsy; diabetes; emotional illness; epilepsy; hearing and speech disorders; heart disorders; learning disabilities such as dyslexia and mental retardation; muscular dystrophy and visual impairments. Recovered alcoholics and former drug addicts are also covered, but not those who are currently abusing. A number of other conditions can be protected under ADA upon proof that they are limiting in some way. To be covered, a person's condition must restrict a life activity, broadly defined as the ability to walk, talk, see, hear, speak, breathe, sit, stand, reach, reason, learn, work or care for himself or herself. ADA does not cover conditions that impose short-term limitations such as pregnancy or broken bones.

A means to assess the disability status of current members of the Board of Directors and candidates for at-large seats on the Board would need to be devised. Significant issues to be addressed would include:

* Whether members seeking seats on the Board of Directors would be permitted to identify themselves as disabled or whether a test or standard would be required to determine eligibility under the proposed language.

* If a Board member designated disabled recovers from the disabling condition, would that member be required to leave the Board?

BYLAW AMENDMENT 2A

TITLE: To provide a method to determine membership dues, allocation of delegate credentials, and affiliation standards for state and local dual-national affiliates.

2-7. Membership Dues

m. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 2-7.n. with regard to members of a dual-national state affiliate, the membership dues of members of a dual-national local affiliate shall be as follows. Members of a dual-national local affiliate shall maintain membership in the Association and the American Federation of Teachers where eligible, and the total combined national dues that such members pay shall be not less than the Association dues for members in the relevant job category. If a member of a dual-national local affiliate is a member of the Association and the American Federation of Teachers, each organization shall receive one-half (1/2) of said member's total combined national dues; if the member is a member of the Association but is not eligible in the American Federation of Teachers, the Association shall receive the full amount of said member's national dues. The provisions of this Bylaw 2-7.m. shall take precedence over anything to the contrary in Bylaw 2-7.a. through I[.], but not in Bylaw 2-7.n.

n. Members of a dual-national state affiliate shall maintain membership in the Association and the American Federation of Teachers where eligible, and the total combined national dues that such members pay shall be not less than the Association dues for members in the relevant job category. If a member of a dual-national state affiliate is a member of the Association and the American Federation of Teachers, said member's total combined, dues shall be allocated between the two organizations in a manner that is acceptable to the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors: if the member is a member of the Association but is not eligible for membership in the American Federation of Teachers. the Association shall receive the full amount of said member's national dues. The provisions of this Bylaw 2-7.n. shall take precedence over anything to the contrary in Bylaw 2-7.a. through m.

3-1. Allocation of Delegates

a. [Unchanged]

b. [Unchanged]

c. [Unchanged]

d. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [E]each state affiliate shall be allocated one (1) delegate credential for the first fifty (50) Student members of the Association. The state affiliate shall received a second credential when Student membership in the state reaches seven hundred fifty (750) and an additional credential for each five hundred (500) Student members thereafter. The allocation shall be on the basis of Student membership in the Association as of March 15 of the calendar year in which the Representative Assembly convenes.

e. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [A]allocation of delegate credentials for Retired members of the Association within each state shall be made to state affiliates based on the ratio of 1:50 for the first 50 Retired members and an additional delegate for each 1,000 Retired members thereafter.

f. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [A]llocation of delegates to school nurse members denied active membership in local affiliates shall be based on the ratio of 1:150 school nurse members so denied.

g. [Unchanged]

h. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [A]allocation of delegates to higher education members denied active membership in local affiliates shall be based on the ratio of 1:150 higher education members so denied. The state affiliate shall determine the most appropriate unit for this purpose.

i. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [A]llocation of delegates to Active members employed in educational support positions who are denied active membership in local affiliates shall be based on the ratio of 1:150 such members so denied.

j. Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 3-1.k., [A]allocation for category 2 delegates in local units which have all-inclusive membership shall allow for clustering with category 2 members from other local units. In such local units, category 2 members shall not be counted in the allocation for category 1 delegates. Delegates for clustered category 2 members shall be based on the ratio of 1:150. This section shall apply only in those states where the state affiliate has determined that it shall be applicable.

k. The ratios to be used for the allocation of delegate credentials pursuant to Bylaw 3-1.d., e., f., h., i., and j. for members of dual-national local and state affiliates shall be determined by the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

8-3. Governance Affiliates

a. [Unchanged]

b. An organization shall not be eligible for Association affiliation as a dual-national local affiliate unless:

1. The organization is from a jurisdiction:

i) which, by operation of law, has been created by combining, in whole or in part, other jurisdictions in which both Association and American Federation of Teachers local affiliates had representational status; or

iii) in which the Association membership and the American Federation of Teachers membership were relatively equal (i.e., neither organization had more than sixty (60) percent of the combined membership); or

iii) in which, during the preceding six (6) years, both the Association local affiliate and the American Federation of Teachers local affiliate had been officially recognized as the employee representative; or

iv) in a state in which there is a dual-national state affiliate: and

[Remainder of Bylaw 8-3.b. unchanged]

c. [Unchanged]

d. An organization shall not be eligible for Association affiliation as a dual-national state affiliate unless it meets the standards established by the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

8-11. Standards for State Affiliates

Except as otherwise provided in Bylaw 8-11.i., [T]the Association shall not affiliate a state association unless it meets the following minimum standards:

a. through h. [Unchanged]

i. Unless the Executive Committee determines otherwise, and the Board of Directors approves such determination, the Association shall not affiliate a dual-national state affiliate unless it meets the foregoing minimum standards.

12-1. Definitions of Terms

As used in the Charter, the Constitution, these Bylaws, and the Standing Rules, the Association adopts and adheres to the following definitions of terms:

a. State affiliate:

(i) State affiliate shall mean the association within each state or commonwealth and associations representing the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Federal Education Association, and such other comparable associations which meet at least the minimum standards of affiliation; (ii) dual-national state affiliate shall mean a state affiliate of the Association that also is a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

b. through h. [Unchanged]

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.c (by majority vote of the NEA Board of Directors) Contact: NEA Board of Directors

IMPACT STATEMENT

It is anticipated that the NEA Board of Directors will approve guidelines to deal with the question of mergers between NEA and AFT state affiliates at its April 30/May 1, 1999 meeting. Under Article IX, Section 3, of the NEA Constitution, proposed amendments to the Bylaws "shall be presented in writing to the Committee on Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules, postmarked no later than one hundred twenty (120) days preceding the Annual Meeting." The deadline date for the presentation of amendments to the Bylaws to be acted on at the 1999 Annual Meeting is March 3, 1999. Since it was known prior to March 3, 1999, whether and to what extent Bylaw amendments will be necessary in connection with the merger guidelines approved by the Board of Directors, the purpose of these Bylaw amendments is to provide maximum flexibility to the Board in the developmental process, and to keep open all of the Board's options.

These Bylaw amendments provide a definition for the term "dual-national state affiliate." They give the Executive Committee discretion, subject to approval by the Board of Directors, to (1) authorize special arrangements dealing with the membership dues and governance rights of members of dual-national state affiliates, and (2) establish special standards for the affiliation of dual-national state affiliates. It is the intention of the Board of Directors to review the Bylaw amendments at its April 30/May 1, 1999 meeting, and request that they be withdrawn and/or seek to have them amended at the 1999 Annual Meeting as necessary in light of the merger guidelines that are approved.

A Bylaw amendment that has been introduced may be withdrawn "when approved by the Representative Assembly" (NEA Constitution, Article IX, Section 5), or may be amended "at the Annual Meeting by a majority vote of the delegates present and voting" (NEA Constitution, Article IX, Section 3(c)). The type of amendment that is allowed at the Annual Meeting is controlled by Robert's Rules of Order, and under Robert's the Bylaw amendment that originally was introduced only can be amended "downward" The concept of amending downward may be explained by envisioning a continuum. At one end of the continuum is the status quo as reflected in the existing Bylaw; at the other end of the continuum is the situation that would exist under the Bylaw amendment that was originally introduced. Any change in the original Bylaw amendment that moves down the continuum closer to the status quo is an allowable downward amendment. The approach taken in most of these Bylaw amendments -- i.e., giving the Executive Committee discretion to deal with the matter in question, subject to approval by the Board of Directors -- extends the continuum extraordinarily far. Because the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors conceivably could authorize any type of arrangement, virtually any specific provision would be a downward amendment.

BYLAW AMENDMENT 3

TITLE: To designate as Seat 1 and Seat 2 the two vacancies on the NEA Executive Committee filled through election at the Representative Assembly each year and to require that candidates specify which seat they are running for.

Bylaw 6. Executive Committee

6-1. Election

a. The Executive Committee shall consist of nine (9) members: President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and six (6) members elected at large by the Representative Assembly. Two (2) of the six (6) at-large members shall be elected each year. The two (2) at-large positions each year be designated as Seat 1 and Seat 2. Prospective candidates shall certify, to the Committee on Constitution. Bylaws. and Rules whether they are running for Seat 1 or Seat 2.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 50 delegates.) Contact Person: Bill Dorsey Ohio

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment would require that by April 15, a candidate for one of the two at-large seats on the Executive Committee that will be filled at the Representative Assembly declare for either Seat 1 or Seat 2. The information about which candidates have filed for which seat would be public.

NEA conducts annual elections for Executive Committee at the Representative Assembly. In any given year, two at-large members of the Executive Committee are elected. Elections such as these. where more than one seat is open in a single race, can be termed "multiseat" elections.

Bullet voting is possible in multiseat elections because a voter can cast less than the number of votes to which he or she is entitled. Thus, rather than vote for two candidates in an election to fill two open seats on the Executive Committee, a voter who bullet votes would cast only one vote. Only the single vote would be counted. This gives an advantage to the chosen candidate and reduces the number of votes received by the candidate's opponents. This amendment would eliminate "bullet voting" in Executive Committee elections. While bullet voting does allow for strategic decisions among voters about how to distribute their votes, it is not ruled out by law and is a generally-approved voting practice. Designating seats as described in the amendment is also approved by law and is a generally-approved voting practice.

The 1998 Representative Assembly defeated an identical amendment.

BYLAW AMENDMENT 4

TITLE: To require that NEA trusteeships of affiliates are confirmed by the members of the affiliate in question.

Bylaw 8. Affiliates and Special Interest Groups

8-12. Trusteeships Over State Affiliates

(new) e. Within ninety (90) days of imposition of trusteeship, there will be a mail ballot of the state affiliate members, paid for by NEA, to approve or reject the trusteeship. The Opponents of the trusteeship. which may include removed officers, shall be provided opportunities to engage in a campaign in support of their positions with access to member meetings, mailings, and other forums.

If the trusteeship is rejected by a majority of those participating, the NEA shall be bound by the members' vote and shall cease further a actions by returning control of the state association to the previous elected/appointed officials. If the trusteeship is approved, NEA may proceed with the trusteeship process.

(Subsequent paragraphs are re-lettered.)

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 50 delegates.) Contact Person: Frank Olbris, Massachusetts

IMPACT STATEMENT:

This amendment would make continuation of a trusteeship over a state affiliate by NEA subject to a vote of confirmation by the members of the state affiliate in question. Upon recommendation of the Special Committee on Organizational Streamlining, the Bylaws were amended in 1993 to grant NEA the ability to establish trusteeships over state affiliates. A trusteeship is the assumption by NEA of jurisdiction over the operations of a state affiliate. To date, no trusteeships have been proposed or considered.

NEA may establish a trusteeship at the recommendation of two-thirds of the NEA Executive Committee (Bylaw 8-12.a and b) and subject to approval by two-thirds of the Board of Directors for the purpose of "(i) correcting corruption or financial malpractice or (ii) restoring democratic procedures." Bylaw 8-12.h allows a state affiliate to appeal to the Representative Assembly a decision by the Board of Directors to establish a trusteeship or a refusal by the Board to terminate a trusteeship.

The amendment would supplement rather than supplant current appeal provisions. It would therefore be possible, depending on the timing of NEA's imposition of a trusteeship, for a state affiliate to simultaneously appeal the trusteeship decision to the Representative Assembly and make imposition of the trusteeship subject to a vote of the state membership.

The amendment is unclear about the process used to identify "opponents of the trusteeship" and about what "opportunities" should be provided to these opponents to campaign for their positions. The extent of NEA's financial obligation to provide "opportunities to engage in a campaign" is open to interpretation.

Depending on the size of the state membership, a mail ballot of state affiliate members would result in a major expense to NEA. Additional expense would be incurred by providing access to member mailings, meetings, etc. to opponents of the trusteeship.

BYLAW AMENDMENT 5

TITLE: To allow members to designate where the political contribution portion of their dues money is allocated.

Bylaw 11. General Finance

11-9. Budget

(new) f. All members shall be given the opportunity to designate where the political contribution portion of their dues money is to be allocated.

Submitted in accordance with Standing Rule 9.D.1.a (by petition of at least 50 delegates.) Contact Person: Ed Weber, Ohio

IMPACT STATEMENT:

The Committee on Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules interprets "political contribution" to mean contributions to candidates for elective office. Since no dues money is used for that purpose, the amendment is out of order. Such contributions are made to the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education (formerly NEA-PAC).

Deletions are in brackets, additions are underlined. Further information may be obtained from the NEA Governance and Policy Office, 1201 Sixteenth St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036 (telephone 202/822-7328).

Candidates Running for NEA Office

Bob Chase Candidate for NEA President

As public education employees, we must face the truth. America is becoming a nation of haves and have-nots when it comes to education. There are excellent schools in America where children are given every opportunity for a bright future. However, many of us know of schools with needs so great that teaching is at risk, and the true tragedy is that too many people are willing to abandon children to those circumstances. We can not allow this to continue. NEA must continue in its traditional role of employee advocacy, but it must also, with equal vigor, champion the needs of schools and children who are in need of hope. No child, parent, or NEA member deserves less.

Reg Weaver Candidate for NEA Vice President

Using new unionism as an organizational vehicle, we have traveled in a direction that enhances the achievement of excellence and equity in public education. By continuing to utilize advocacy processes to expand the rights and interests of the education profession, and by continuing to assist our members to grow professionally, we can create a healthy education environment and reshape the public debate over education reform.

While we have resources to be leaders in restoring the public's confidence in public education, we cannot prevail alone. We must use the influence other groups bring as allies in our efforts to provide the best possible education for our children. Together we can meet the challenges of today and manage the opportunities of tomorrow.

Eddie Davis Candidate for NEA Executive Committee

For well over a century, public education has been one of America's most cherished institutions. It has served as the vehicle for common people to travel to the destinations of their dreams and aspirations. Even with the flaws of the past, including segregation, access to quality education has been, and still is, the most democratic and most valued component of our society.

To ensure that 21st century opponents are not successful in their attempts to dismantle public education, NEA members must stand tall for high student achievement, quality school personnel, non-disruptive schools, and effective practices. NEA members build a bridge between schools and their communities. This bridge must connect students to their futures.

With creativity and concentration, the NEA and its allies can guarantee the preservation and advancement of our beloved institution of public education.

Lily Eskelsen Candidate for NEA Executive Committee

Our Association needs leaders who know how to work as a team, who know how to build coalitions and who are willing to listen as well as speak up. At the same time, we must never shy away from a fight when it's necessary to protect our members and the families we serve.

We stand for something worth working for. Worth fighting for. We are the Education Family committed to respect for all our members, to quality education for all our students, and to the cause of public education. A good school is the key to every hope we have in a better future for ourselves, our children, and our country.

This Association is our voice for that future.
COPYRIGHT 1999 National Education Association of the United States
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:NEA Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1999
Words:5365
Previous Article:Resources.
Next Article:A Tale of Two Cities.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters