Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ISEA-PAC Central Committee Meets to Take Action on Candidate Recommendations

On Monday, June 9th members of ISEA-PAC Central Committee met in Des Moines to bring forward candidate recommendations from their local interview teams.

With a few school districts still in session, a majority of the committee came together to discuss individual races and make recommendations to our membership.

The nineteen UniServ Units of Team ISEA have all appointed a team of four members, two (2) Republican and two (2) Democrats, to represent their membership.

The attendance at our June 9th meeting was as follows:

Cedar Wood: 2
East Central: 3
Geode: 1
Great River: 2
Hawkeye: 4
JDC: 2
Lincolnway: 2
Mississippi Bend: 1
Mid-Iowa: 3
Northern Pride: 0
Unit Nine: 1
Polk Suburban: 2
South Central: 2
Siouxland: 2
Southwest: 4
Unit Ten: 1
Unit Two: 1

Also in attendance in addition to myself: ISEA Vice President/President-elect, Chris Bern; ISEA Treasurer Paula Logan; NEA Director Jim Young; and ISEA Vice President-elect Tammy Wawro.
ISEA-PAC Central Committee members heard from Team ISEA Lobbyist, Brad Hudson, on a final report of the 2008 Legislative Session before beginning our candidate discussions.

Candidate recommendations were made in all but seven (7) state Senate races and twenty-seven (27) state House races. The body gave authority for an "Emergency Committee" to act upon candidate recommendations in the above mentioned races once the local interview teams complete their interviews.

Members of ISEA-PAC's "Emergency Committee" are:

(D) Chris Bern, ISEA President-elect

(D) Jim Young-NEA Director

(D) Roberta Rosheim, JDC

(D) Kevin Ericson, Mid-Iowa

(R) Roberta Hass, NEIEU

(R) John Morgan, Unit Two

(R) Leslie Dake, Siouxland

(R) Rob Hirst, Hawkeye

Before ISEA-PAC Central Committee members headed towards home, we thanked them for the work they've done thus far with candidate interviews, but also thanked them for their leadership in this fall's campaigns in making a difference in electing/re-electing friends of education!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

NEA President to Recommend Sen. Obama in General Election

WASHINGTON— National Education Association President Reg Weaver announced today that he will ask the 9,000 locally elected delegates to the Association’s Representative Assembly to take a formal vote to recommend that NEA’s 3.2 million members support Barack Obama in his bid to become President of the United States. NEA delegates will hold their annual meeting in Washington, D.C., over the 4th of July holiday.

“Ideally, NEA would have endorsed a candidate during the primaries, but our members were like voters everywhere,” said Weaver. “They were split between Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. But it’s now apparent that Senator Obama has secured the necessary number of delegates to win the Democratic nomination. With such a clear picture of what Senator Obama will do for public education and his commitment to partner with NEA on issues that affect our members across the country, every public school employee needs to get squarely behind the Obama candidacy.”

Presidential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties worked to get the NEA’s recommendation and access to its seasoned army of political member activists.

“Senator Clinton has an outstanding record of support for children and public education,” said Weaver. “As long as she was a viable candidate in the Democratic nomination process, many of our members felt a passionate need to return the loyalty she has earned over decades of support.”

The contrast between Obama and McCain on issues that matter most to NEA members – the economy, education and health care – is indeed stark. Obama opposes using public tax dollars to provide financial support to private schools. McCain is already on record with votes supporting vouchers.

Obama has made it clear that the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind law must be changed. McCain has been crossing the country saying he’ll expand the very provisions of NCLB that the nation’s educators cite as its greatest flaws, most especially its one-size-fits-all high-stakes testing provisions.

Obama supports making health care available to every American child. McCain has voted against expansion of existing federal programs designed to provide health care for the nation’s neediest children.

Obama has said repeatedly that, while teachers need to be held accountable for what goes on in the classroom, every teacher deserves a living wage. McCain has called for paying teachers based on student test scores.

Obama supports reducing class size to improve student achievement. McCain has already voted against attempts to reduce class size.

“You can go down any list of what public school employees believe they need to truly help every child be successful, and you’ll see that Senator Obama supports that list and that Senator McCain not only opposes it, but has probably already voted against it,” said Weaver. “There are big and important issues in this campaign, but none is more important to the long-term future of America than public education. And there’s a clear choice in 2008. I will be asking our members to make the right choice for public education and to support Senator Obama.”

Here I am (above) with Senator Obama in July 2007. Senator Obama visited the Iowa delegation at an early morning caucus during the 2007 NEA Representative Assembly in Philadelphia, PA.