Overview: The NEA has a rather lengthy process for arriving at an endorsement or "recommendation." In 1999, "the NEA invited all the announced presidential candidates -- Republicans and Democrats -- to participate in its recommendation process." However, none of the Republican candidates did so.
On Oct. 7, 1999, NEA President Bob Chase recommended Gore to the PAC Council, which consists of presidents of the state affiliates and others. 98.3% of the PAC Council concurred (support of at least 58% required for primary recommendation). On Oct. 8 the NEA Board of Directors concurred unanimously (again, support of at least 58% required). After the PAC Council and the Board of Directors act, a state affiliate must also vote to concur. The NEA supplied each affiliate with candidate comparisons based on questionnaires and interviews with Gore and Bradley. This recommendation applies only to state presidential primaries.
The general election recommendation required at least 58% support from the PAC Council, 58% from the Board of Directors, and 58% from the annual Representative Assembly, which met in Chicago July 3-6, 2000. The PAC Council endorsed Gore unanimously, and on July 4 89% of more than 9,000 delegates participating in a secret ballot election concurred.
National Education Association
1201 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-3290FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 4, 2000CHICAGO, IL - More than 9,000 delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly today pledged their overwhelming support for Al Gore.
NEA Endorses Gore for President
'A proven friend of children and public education'
In a secret-ballot election requiring 58 percent support for NEA endorsement, 89 percent of the delegates concurred with the unanimous endorsement of Gore earlier this week by NEA's PAC Council.
Gore will be addressing the delegates at 11:30 a.m. on July 6.
"Al Gore is a proven friend of children and public education, and he has earned the support of our members" said NEA President Bob Chase. "These delegates have spoken with a clear voice on behalf of NEA's 2.5 million members, who elected them to attend this assembly."
Chase cited Gore's consistent leadership on range of issues affecting children and public education, including class size reduction, early childhood education, increased college student aid, higher standards and salaries for teachers, and school modernization. Chase also praised Gore's taking the lead in the fight for full funding of the "E-rate," which has helped bring Internet access to more than 80 percent of the nation's schools.
"Vice President Gore's eyes are open to what we see every day -- the preciousness and fragility of children," Chase said. "He knows that compared to the children in our lives, everything else is secondary."
In his recommendation to the delegates, Chase drew sharp contrasts between Vice President Gore and Governor George W. Bush. Vice President Gore opposes vouchers, while Governor Bush supports them. Vice President Gore supports additional funding for early childhood education, to reduce class size, and to refurbish schools, while Governor Bush has opposed a federal role in class size and school modernization.
Chase promised that Gore would be open to the recommendations of those who work in public schools. "In the search for ideas to improve public education, Al Gore knows where to look first," Chase said. "He looks to teachers."
In a vote taken in October 1999, the NEA Board of Directors endorsed Vice President Gore for the Democratic nomination. Only the 9,000-plus delegates to the Representative Assembly are empowered to make an endorsement in the general election.
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National Education Association
Robert F. Chase, President
Reg Weaver, Vice President
Dennis Van Roekel, Secretary-Treasurer
Don Cameron, Executive Director
1201 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-3290
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 1999
NEA recommends Al Gore for Presidential primary
"A tireless leader for quality education for all children"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Education Association (NEA) today named Vice President Al Gore as its recommended candidate for the 2000 presidential primary, lauding his lifetime, unwavering leadership on behalf of children and public education. With nearly 2.5 million members, NEA is the nation's largest professional employee organization.
"Al Gore has fought for children. For children nutrition programs. For immunization. For expanded preschool and afterschool programs," said NEA President Bob Chase. "Al Gore understands what children need to start school ready to learn."
Chase ticked off key congressional victories Gore clinched on the E-rate, full funding for Head Start, expanded preschool and afterschool programs, and increased access to higher education. He added that currently Gore is leading the charge to reduce class size and modernize public schools. "Some claim to see stiffness in Al Gore. I see spine," said Chase. "Gore is a tireless leader for quality education for all children."
Speaking before the NEA Board of Directors, the group casting its vote for the primary recommendation, Chase cited Gore's depth and breadth of knowledge about the link between quality public education and support for families. "Al Gore has fought for America's working people--the parents of the children we teach," said Chase. "He has fought for Family and Medical leave and for expanded health insurance."
NEA invited all announced presidential candidates--Republicans and Democrats--to participate in its recommendation process. Chase expressed deep disappointment that none of the GOP candidates chose to complete the process, despite the record number of Republican endorsements made by the NEA in the last election.
"Al Gore has earned our support. Time and again, he has stood up for children and public education," said Chase. "Now it is time--proudly and enthusiastically--for us to stand with Al Gore."
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