PRESS RELEASES from National Education Association via PRNewswire-USNewswire

Statement From NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen on Tonight's Vice Presidential Debate

 ST. LOUIS, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, will debate tonight in St. Louis, Mo. NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen will attend the debate to listen to the vice presidential nominees' vision for America.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen:

"When Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin meet tonight, moms who haven't made up their minds will pay close attention to see where they stand on the issues that keep them up at night.

"Now, more than ever, parents are concerned about whether they'll be able to afford a college education for their children.

"Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin haven't proposed a single idea to alleviate the anxiety women across the country feel when they sit down at the kitchen table to figure out this month's bills.

"Unless Gov. Palin offers a distinctly different vision from Sen. McCain on improving our nation's public schools, she's just more of the same. So far, she's failed to do anything but offer blind support for the same bad policies of the past eight years.

"Every teacher knows vouchers and pay for test scores haven't and won't work. Students achieve more when there's a qualified and caring teacher in their classroom.

"Continuing Bush's policy of starving our public schools will translate into more low-income children being left behind. Denying funding for afterschool programs is just a recipe for disaster.

"In contrast, Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden understand the link between a 21st century education system and a robust economy. They want to put our economy back on track and improve our nation's schools."

Biden: Education is 'Engine That Is Going to Give Us Economic Growth'
McCain-Palin would follow same flawed policies of the Bush administration

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A healthy economy requires a healthy public education system, and Sen. Joe Biden made it clear in Thursday's vice presidential debate that an Obama administration would correct the misguided education and economic policies of the last eight years.

The following can be attributed to Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association:

"The economy is front and center on the minds of most Americans, and Sen. Joe Biden made it clear Thursday that the long-term plan for a healthy economy is to invest in public education and make a college education affordable. Quality public schools will be the 'engine' we need for economic growth. But to be that engine, and provide students with a 21st century education, our schools need adequate resources and our teachers deserve respect.

"Gov. Sarah Palin's comments about No Child Left Behind simply don't match up with McCain's policies. McCain supports NCLB, but opposes funding the law's mandates. He has voted against $5 billion for public schools, and his freeze on spending would shortchange 4.2 million disadvantaged children of the reading and math help they need. That's not reform, that's more of the same.

"McCain's health care policies would hit the middle class the hardest with a new tax on employer-provided health care benefits. With current costs averaging about $12,000, the McCain proposal doesn't even come close to helping Americans meet that need and insure their families. It would leave 20 million Americans out of employer-sponsored coverage. The real solution, as Obama has outlined, is a plan that would provide hardworking families, including NEA's 3.2 million educators, the health care they need."

The 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.