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NEA RA Delegates Call for Increased Accountability for Charters, Honor Public Education Supporters

Tricia Conduah

Stamford teacher Tricia Conduah joins a Rhode Island delegate on the floor of the NEA RA in Boston.

The over 7,500 teacher delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) have been hard at work—even over the Independence Day holiday.

Yesterday the delegates in Boston voted to approve a new Policy Statement on Charter Schools that reinforces NEA’s support of state and local efforts to limit charter growth and increase charter accountability, and slow the diversion of resources from neighborhood public schools to charters. The policy allows NEA to continue organizing charter school educators who want to provide all students, no matter where they live, with the opportunity for a great education, and are standing up for better, more accountable charter schools.

Read the complete NEA Policy Statement on Charter Schools here.

Before debating issues among all delegates on the floor of the RA, Connecticut delegates meet every morning at 7:00 for a caucus to discuss the issues and decide whether to support resolutions and new business items. Above left, CEA Board of Directors member and Stamford teacher Tricia Conduah joined a Rhode Island delegate to remind their state delegates of the caucuses’ positions.

NEA Delegates Recognize Public Education Supporters

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Actor, director, and author LeVar Burton received the NEA Friend of Education Award from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

In addition to debating resolutions and new business items, delegates to the NEA RA also take time to honor those who are making important contributions to public education.

On Monday, NEA gave its highest honor, the Friend of Education Award to actor, director, and author LeVar Burton.

“I believe that what you have to offer is essential to this nation,” Burton told educators. “And our desire to lead the world in any meaningful manner depends on you.”

Alluding to budget cuts and the threat of privatizing school services, Burton stressed the importance of adequately funding the nation’s public school education system.

“Without you, we go nowhere,” said Burton, “Unless we support you, we don’t get this job done.”

On Tuesday delegates were inspired by social justice advocate Marley Dias, a New Jersey resident who is only 12-years-old. She is the activist behind #1000BlackGirlBooks—an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character.

More than 9,500 books have already been collected for donation to schools and other institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

To donate to Marley’s campaign, click here and scroll down to a list of recommended book titles sorted by author, title, and reading level. Donors can buy a book from the list and ship it to Marley at the following address:

GrassROOTS Community Foundation
c/o Marley Dias
59 Main Street, Suite 323
West Orange, New Jersey  07052

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