August 12, 2010. NEA’s “Speak Up for Education & Kids” campaign propels Education Jobs bill through House.
Just moments ago, the House passed the education jobs/FMAP bill by a vote of 247-161 . We will forward the roll call vote as soon as it is available. This means the bill only has to go to the President for signature and it becomes law!!! The President will sign the bill this evening at 5:00pm, so that the implementation process can begin immediately! New figures from the U.S. Department of Education estimate that some 161,000 educators who had received pink slips will be heading back to school this fall.
This victory is a result of an amazing team effort involving every level of this Association. The participation by members, the multiple contacts with every single congressional office, the calls, e-mails, and personal visits by affiliate leaders and staff were unprecedented. Together, we put together an unstoppable, persistent campaign that spanned the breadth of the Association, worked tirelessly on our members’ behalf, and overcame multiple pronouncements of the bill’s death by the press, advocates, and Members of Congress.
Our efforts were recognized as very impressive by congressional leaders, the media, our allies, and most importantly, by our members. The following provides a short summary of our campaign efforts, along with a brief discussion of next steps, including immediate actions we are taking to thank Members of Congress as well as efforts to make sure you have all the information you need about how states will receive the funds.
NEA’S EDUCATION JOBS CAMPAIGN: We launched a national “Speak Up for Education & Kids” campaign plus a targeted media campaign to draw attention to the education jobs crisis. Mobilizing NEA members: · 101,636 phone calls were made to congressional offices, including patch-thru programs and our toll-free Speak Up line. · 3,642 members signed petitions in support of education jobs funding. · 32 Affiliate presidents recorded robo calls, which went out to 1.1 million NEA members. · We sent out 42,000 postcards for our members to share their story and deliver to their member of Congress. These postcards were delivered back home and during Capitol Hill visits in Washington, D.C., by Association leaders. · 21,000 organizing packets were developed for state Representative Assemblies and other local meetings. Packets included petitions, worksite flyers, and the postcards mentioned above. · NEA sent 14,264 text messages to our activists with legislative updates and calls to action. · A number of state Presidents/Execs/leaders dropped everything to fly into DC to make personal visits to key
Senators: o AR, Donna Moray – Senator Pryor o CA, David Sanchez – Senator Feinstein o CO, (meeting in CO) – Senators Bennet; Udall o FL, Eric Riley – Senator Nelson o IA, Chris Bern – Senator Harkin o IL, (in state calls): Jim Reed, Cinda Klickna – Senator Durbin o IN, Teresa Meredith – Senator Bayh o LA, Joyce Haynes – Senators Landrieu, Vitter o MA, Paul Toner – Senator Brown o MD , Clara Floyd– Senators Cardin; Mikulski o ME, Rob Walker, Tom Major – Senators Collins; Snowe o MI, Joyce LaLonde o MO, Paula Hodges o NM, Sharon Morgan – Senator Bingaman, Senator Udall o OH , Pat Frost-Brooks – Senators Brown; Voinovich o OR, Jerry Caruthers – Senators Wyden; Merkley o SD, Sandy Arsenault – Senator Johnson o VA, Rob Jones – Senator Webb o WA, John Okamoto – Senators Murray; Cantwell NEA members who had been laid off came to DC for personal Hill visits: ·
Nine states sent member lobbyists to D.C. Twelve Member Lobbyists and four Local Leaders came to D.C. Fourteen House and twelve Senate offices were visited: o CA, Laid off Teachers: Clarissa Barragan, Brianna Clegg, Christopher Rieder; Local leaders: Peter Boyd, Bradford Barnes, Tahnya Noder, John Seybold; Visited Rep. Jane Harman, Rep. Jim Costa, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Sen. Feinstein o IL, Angie Hallock, visited Sen. Durbin, Rep. Quigley, Rep. Foster o IN, Lisa Koester visited Rep. Ellsworth, Rep. Donnelly, Rep. Hill, Sen. Bayh (staff Jonathan) o LA, Carla Lowe visited Sen. Landrieu, Sen. Vitter o ME, Lee Libby visited Sen. Collins, Sen. Snowe o MA, John Lynch visited Sen. Brown o MO, Jeffrey “Tof” McWilliams visited Sen. McCaskill, Sen. Bond o NC, Gina Frutig visited Rep. McIntyre, Rep. Price, Rep. Shuler, Rep. Butterfield, Sen. Hagan; Bethany Banks visited Sen. Hagan o OK, Mitzi Ridinger visited Sen. Inhofe, Rep. Boren ·
The Massachusetts Teachers Association sent an Action Alert from member lobbyist John Lynch · The Maine Education Association sent an action alert to members highlighting the efforts of member lobbyist Lee Libby. · Back Home press was done after the visits in CA, IN, ME, and NC · NEA Today Stories: Laid-off Oklahoma Teacher to Congress: ‘Our Kids Need Your Help’; Laid-Off Educators Go to Washington to Fight for Jobs Legislative and Political Advocacy: · Every congressional office was contacted—multiple contacts were made with all 100 Senate offices and all targeted House members. NEA lobbyists made hundreds of in-person visits with congressional offices on the jobs issue. NEA staff visited every Senate and House offer to hand-deliver letters, state-state-by charts showing jobs that would be created, and other materials. · NEA Board members visited 243 congressional offices in May. · NEA field staff members in town for a meeting visited 37 congressional offices and delivered 35 education jobs information packets to 35 additional House targets. · NEA staff and governance had numerous conversations with Department of Education and White House staff about the need to pass an education jobs fund. · Over 280 delegates at the NEA Representative Assembly videotaped messages to their Senators in support of the jobs bill (http://www.youtube.com/user/NEAABS). NEA sent links to these video messages to the Senate offices. · Our intergovernmental relations staff made countless contacts with intergovernmental organizations and state and local elected officials, including highlighting the issue at the National Conference of State
Legislatures meeting, and working closely with the DGA. The result was an unprecedented show of support from elected leaders, including letters from governors (NC, MA, OR, MD, IL, IA, KS, CO, OH, MI). Letters from governors are posted on the NEA website (www.nea.org/lac). In addition, three governors released press statements in support of the jobs package (NV, OR, IA); 25 governor s signed a letter supporting FMAP and an extension of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (AR, CO, DE, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, NH, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, TN, VI, WA, WI); and 25 governors signed a letter in support of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (AR, CO, DE, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MT, NM, NY, NC, NH, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, VI, WA, WI, WV). Social Media: We used the Education Votes website (www.educationvotes.nea.org), the Legislative Action Center (www.nea.org/lac), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/speakupforkids), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/NEAtoday)—to mobilize members to contact their Members of Congress about the education jobs bill.
The Speak Up for Education & Kids Facebook page now has 35,621 fans and is still growing. · 301,126 e-mails were sent to Congress through our Legislative Action Center and we garnered 145,786 NEW e-mail activists. · State and local affiliates sent hundreds of thousands of emails to members. · We had 60,460 visits to the Education Votes website and 92,889 page views. · Over 350 personal stories about the impact of layoffs were submitted through the Education Votes site. · Our NEA Today on line site (www.neatoday.org) posted 47 stories on the jobs campaign.
Earned /Paid Media: · Television spots (http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/speakup/) aired in 3 states and Washington, D.C. The markets were: Tallahassee and Panama City (FL-02 Boyd); Mobile (AL-01 Bonner); Lexington (KY-06 Chandler), and Washington, D.C. · Radio ads (http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/speakup/) ran in 12 markets, with more than a thousand spots total. Ads aired in these districts: AR-01 Barry, AR-04 Ross, CO-03 Salazar, FL-02 Boyd, GA-02 Bishop, IN-08 Ellsworth, MD-01 Kratovil, TX-17 Edwards.
Internet ads ran in 7 markets, with at least 2 million impressions. Internet ads ran in AL-01 Bonner, CA-20 Schiff, IN-08 Ellsworth, FL-02 Boyd, KY-06 Chandler, OK-04 Cole, TX-17 Edwards, and on The Hill website. We also ran an ad that took over the front page of The Hill’s website. · Print ads ran in 12 markets (29 papers) and in The Hill. Markets included: AR-01 Barry, CO-03 Salazar, FL-02 Boyd, GA-02 Bishop, IL-10 Kirk, IN-08 Ellsworth, KY-06 Chandler, MD-01 Kratovil, OK-04 Cole, PA-08 Murphy, TN-04 Davis, TX-17 Edwards. The Hill ads ran on 5/26 and5/27.
We scored interviews on national news outlets—including CBS News, NBC News, MSNBC, FOX News, The Fox Report, CNN, C-SPAN, New York Times, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, McClatchy wire service, Associated Press, USA Today, NPR, and CBS Radio. We also leveraged national events—like the naming of the 2010 Teacher of the Year and President Obama’s commencement address at a high school in Michigan—to draw more public attention to the education jobs bill.
Dennis Van Roekel participated in a press conference with Representative Obey (D-WI), Senator Harkin (D-IA), and Secretary Duncan in May. This event generated considerable press coverage, including in the Washington Post and on CNN radio. Coalition work: Through our extensive coalition efforts, we:
- Gained the support of over 190 diverse organizations for passage of the education jobs bill.
- Built a solid union coalition along with the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, and SEIU that hung together and ran–with the cooperation and engagement of our state affiliate leaders–coalition grasstops efforts on the ground in 10 swing Senate states.
- Helped solidify the education community’s voice and activities, notably through engagement in our Speak Up effort, Learning First Alliance coordination and outreach, Forum on Educational Accountability actions, and collaborative work through the Committee on Education Funding.
- Launched a major initiative to gain parent and family voices in support of the jobs legislation, including specific outreach and collaborative work with the National PTA, Public Education Network, National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education, Coalition of Title I Parents, Coalition of Community Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and NEA’s Public Engagement participants.
- Engaged in a major outreach effort to the ethnic minority and civil rights communities, gaining visible support for the education jobs legislation from a wide array of these organizations, including action alerts and member involvement from American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), ASPIRA, Black Women’s Roundtable (BTR), Latino Elected and Appointed Officials National Task Force on education, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Association for Asian Pacific American Education (NAAPAE), National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), the National Indian Education Association and the National Indian School Board Association (NISBA).
- We will be sending you additional materials and information in future e-mails and ask that you keep an eye out for those communications. Thank yous to Members of Congress:
- We have already sent out a press release (see attached) praising Speaker Pelosi for calling the House back in and urging people to vote for the bill.
- We will be pitching an op-ed by Dennis Van Roekel to media outlets following the vote. Dennis will also appear on MSNBC today. · Thank you letters will go to all Members of the House who supported the bill.
- Thank you letters were sent last week to Senators who voted for the bill.
- We have updated our Legislative Action Center to provide talking points to thank Members who voted yes and express disappointment to those who voted against the bill.
- We will be sending out a special “Ed Insider” this afternoon to all NEA cyberlobbyists urging them to thank Members of Congress. · Stories about the victory will be posted on neatoday.org and Education Votes and will also appear in the next NEA Express and NEA Today publications.
- We have already run print ads in Maine, Washington State, and Nevada thanking Senators Snowe, Collins, Murray, and Reid (see Reid ad attached). Additional thank you ads and other media activities are planned.
NEXT STEPS: We will be undertaking a number of steps in the coming days and weeks both to thank Members of Congress who supported us and to ensure that you have all the information you need regarding how states will receive the funds.
Distribution of Funds: Governors have 30 days to apply for the money; otherwise, Secretary Duncan can distribute it to another entity/entities, such as school districts. You should have received an initial e-mail from us yesterday with preliminary information about the bill and implementation issues. It is very important that affiliates:
1. Contact, preferably in writing, your state department of education and/or your governor’s office and urge them to apply immediately for the money;
2. Figure out which distribution method – the state funding formula or Title I formula – will save the most jobs in your state, based on the density of layoffs.
We are also working with the U.S. Department of Education on guidance about the urgency of getting this money to flow.