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NEA tv ad campaign urges Congress to pass the American Jobs Act

WASHINGTON—The National Education Association has launched a multi-state television ad campaign urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. The legislation, if passed, will get more Americans working again, modernizing the nation’s aging schools and putting teachers and support staff back to work.

“The American Jobs Act is a win-win for the American people,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Congress can choose to put students ahead of political gridlock by supporting a bill that puts Americans back to work, modernizes our schools, and puts educators in classrooms instead of on the unemployment lines.”

The 30-second ad is airing in select media markets here in Massachusetts as well as in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas and the District of Columbia. These are states that have been feeling the economic pinch caused by severe budget cuts and painful policy decisions.

Teachers, education support professionals, parents and others in local communities are rallying behind President Barack Obama’s bold proposal to get the economy moving in the right direction again. His proposal would put up to 280,000 educators back to work and modernize 35,000 of our nation’s aging public schools.

“The fact is that educators know firsthand the devastating impact the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is having on our communities, our schools and students,” noted Van Roekel. “Children can’t learn if they’re hungry. They can’t learn if their family can’t afford to see a dentist or a doctor. They can’t learn if they’re anxious, nervous or have low self-esteem due to living in poverty. Unemployment isn’t just an economic issue – it’s an education issue.”

One such unemployed teacher from Florida visited Washington to urge her Congressional delegation to pass the American Jobs Act. Cherine Akbari, a history teacher from Northeast High School in Oakland Park, was fired the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week and five days after she moved into her new house. The American Jobs Act would put people like Cherine back in the classroom with her students again. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed educators like Cherine who are willing and eager to get back to schools and classrooms with help from Congress.