NEA endorses Joe Biden for U.S. President
Delegates to the National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) elected Becky Pringle to be president of NEA, Princess Moss to be vice president and Noel Candelaria to be secretary-treasurer. Pringle is a science teacher on leave from the Susquehanna School District in Pennsylvania and currently serves as vice president and previously served as secretary treasurer of NEA. Moss, a music teacher on leave from Louisa County Public Schools in Virginia, is NEA’s current secretary-treasurer. Candelaria is a special education teacher in Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas.
NJEA member and Union County Education Association Vice President James Frazier, ran a strong campaign for NEA secretary-treasurer in a field of four candidates, taking nationwide his message for a more diverse cadre of educators, a fiscally strong NEA, and strong advocacy for students and educators against corporate-funded attacks on public education.
“I congratulate our new team of leaders at the national level, Becky Pringle, Princess Moss and Noel Candelaria. Together, they will be unstoppable as they fight for public education in the coming three years,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “I also want to congratulate NJEA‘s James Frazier for running a great campaign and making New Jersey proud!”
“I offer my congratulations to Becky Pringle, Princess Moss and Noel Candelaria,” said James Frazier. “I wish to thank my team of volunteers who worked day and night to support my campaign. I thank my family, especially my wife Patricia, for their patience, love, and their faith in me. I look forward to continuing to serve the members of this great association.”
NJEA member Ashanti Rankin elected to NEA Board of Directors, three additional seats require run-off
To be elected to office in NEA requires attaining at least a simple majority of votes cast. Eighteen candidates ran for nine open educational support professional (ESP) at-large seats on the NEA Board of Directors.
Ashanti Rankin (N.J.), Margaret Powell (N.C.), Saul Ramos (Mass.), Lisa Jennings (S.D.), Stephanie Ervin (Wash.), and Gerry French (Maine) were elected. The remaining three seats will require at least one more round of voting. Gwendolyn Edwards (Va.), Debby Chandler (Wash.), Pamella Johnson (Wash.), and Carmen Hill (Mo.) will be on the ballot, which will be mailed to RA delegates on Aug. 12. They will be due back to NEA by Aug. 31.
NJEA members Ashanti Rankin of the Millville Education Association and Damita White-Morris of the Bridgeton School Employees Association were two of three candidates endorsed by New Jersey delegates to the RA for the NEA Board of Directors. Margaret Powell of Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina, was also endorsed by New Jersey delegates. Rankin and Powell were current NEA directors, running for re-election.
“Congratulations to our endorsed candidates for the at-large positions on the NEA Board of Directors, Ashanti Rankin and Margaret Powell, for their re-election to the board, and congratulations to Damita White-Morris for stepping up to represent New Jersey,” Blistan said. “I am certain that Ashanti and Margaret will serve NEA members well and make public education a priority in the nation’s capital.”
Vaandering elected to NEA Executive Committee, run-off for second position
Hanna Vaandering of Oregon was re-elected to the NEA Executive Committee. Because candidates must receive a majority vote to be elected, candidates Mark Jewell of North Carolina and Amber Gould of Arizona will participate in a run-off election. Ballots will be mailed to RA delegates on Aug. 12. They will be due back to NEA by Aug. 31.
NEA RA delegates overwhelmingly endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States in the Nov. 3 election. NEA has previously endorsed Biden to be the Democratic candidate in the primary.
“Joe is the tireless advocate for public education and is the partner that students and educators need in the White House,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said. “He understands that we have a moral responsibility to provide a great neighborhood public school for every student in every ZIP code.”
Biden’s plan for public education, released in May 2019, was praised by NEA for highlighting the need to expand community schools, address racial injustice, fully fund IDEA, triple the funds for Title I schools, and invest in children starting from birth, including high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten. Biden’s outreach to educators has been led in part by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, an educator and NEA member.
“Biden is also committed to attracting and retaining the best educators by paying them as professionals they are and increasing funding for support staff and paraprofessionals,” Eskelsen García added. “And he will fire Betsy DeVos and replace her with an education secretary who comes from a public school classroom and believes that educators must have a seat at the table when crafting education policy.”
NEA budget adopted
Delegates overwhelmingly supported the NEA Strategic Plan and Budget for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal year totaling $357,790,775 and $360,020,175 respectively.