The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van
Roekel: PRESS RELEASE from
National Education Association via PRNewswire-USNewswire
President Dennis Van Roekel: Fundamental Question Unanswered Heading
Into Tonight's Debate Between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NEA President Dennis
VanRoekel will attend the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont
University in Nashville, Tenn. Van Roekel is there to listen to Sen.
Obama and Sen. McCain talk about their visions for America's working
"This debate comes at a critical time for the American people. We're in
the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
"As educators, NEA members also are witnessing firsthand the effects of
the economic and housing crisis. Schools are seeing record numbers of
students who are homeless or qualify for free school meals. Rising fuel
costs are forcing school districts to take drastic measures, including
cutting all field trips and shortening the school week.
"Thus, the fundamental question on voters' minds as they watch
tonight's debate is, 'Which candidate will focus on laying out real
plans to address the issues that keep voters up at night, and which
candidate will simply promise more of the same failed policies of the
Bush administration, or even yet, just change the subject?'
"In their last debate, Sen. McCain refused to distance himself from the
failed policies of the Bush administration. He failed to grasp the
direct link between a robust economy and a 21st century education
system. He made it clear that he would put business interests ahead of
working families, promising to tax health care benefits for the first
time in history. He didn't even say 'middle class' once during the
"In contrast, Sen. Obama has shown that he understands that all roads
to economic security and prosperity go through our public schools,
promising to transform public schools to keep America competitive in
this global economy. Sen. Obama's solution is to provide affordable
health care for everyone who wants it. And he is bent on turning the
page on the failed policies of the past eight years."
National Education Association is the nation's largest professional
employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and
secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support
professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students
preparing to become teachers.