NEA teachers union sets 3 priorities for Biden-Harris
COVID relief, social justice and loan forgiveness top the priorities the NEA teachers union hopes the Biden-Harris Administration will tackle with its education agenda.
NEA this week released a 54-page Policy Playbook covering 27 topics that the union says focus on support for students, educators and working families.
The organization’s former president, Lily Eskelsen Garica, has been named as a leading candidate for secretary of education in the Biden-Harris Administration.
“As the educators who have long stood in the gaps where our institutions have failed our students, we know that a new secretary of education alone can’t tackle the many issues facing students, educators, and parents, which is why NEA is working with the Biden team to ensure that the support our students need is prioritized across the new administration,” NEA President Becky Pringle said.
The union is encouraging the new administration to steer relief funding toward broadband expansion, PPE and sanitization supplies for school districts, and assistance for the 835,700 educators who have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID recession.
The union also expects the new administration to recommit to Department of Education civil rights protections in efforts to provide equitable resources to underserved communities.
The union also wants to see a shift away from standardized tests as the only way to measure student achievement and teacher effectiveness. The union is urging new education policy to encourage schools to use multiple forms of assessment that are more tailored to students’ learning styles.
The Policy Playbook also touches on class size, charter schools, early childhood, college access, nutrition and LGTBQ rights.
Finally, the NEA wants to see an expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to encourage more college students to pursue teaching and education careers.
The union is urging the new administration to align the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program with Public Service Loan Forgiveness so educators teaching all subject areas in public schools and working in all job categories in public education qualify.