Saturday, July 4, 2009

Takin' care of business!

Who counts? The ones who get counted.

In an action-packed day of new business, delegates first pledged NEA’s commitment to making sure the 2010 Census is done accurately so that schools and communities can be fairly funded, and then moved swiftly on to the other top issues of the day: fair retirement benefits, charter schools, and equal treatment for same-sex couples.

RA Today/ Rick Runion

On the Census, it’s critical that every person be counted, said Executive Committee member Len Paolillo. “How would you like to get a 10 to 1 pay-off guaranteed?” he asked delegates. “This is what this NBI is all about. If we work as an organization to make sure everybody is counted, it’ll pay off for the next 10 years,” through equitable funding for Title 1 grants, special education, college tuition grants, job training, senior centers and more.

That’s a bet delegates were eager to take.

Also delegates moved to offer the Association’s assistance to states seeking help in repealing discriminatory laws or enacting ones that guarantee equal treatment, like shared health care benefits or adoption rights, to same-sex couples. “The focus is on equal treatment, not the definition of marriage,” explained Executive Committee member Carolyn Crowder.

The RA also directed the Association’s energy toward its continued fight to repeal the Social Security Offsets that deny rightfully earned retirement benefits to some public employees, and it engaged in spirited debate around the issues of charter schools and the role of military recruiters in schools.

RA Today/ Rick Runion

Tomorrow, look forward to more action from the floor!

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