Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Edwards passes 3.1 million mark in support from labor

North Carolina Association of Educators picks Edwards as the candidate with the strength and vision to compete in battleground states and bring real change to Washington

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Today, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) announced its endorsement of John Edwards for president sending Edwards over the 3.1 million member mark in union support. The NCAE, which represents 70,000 teachers, education support professionals and retirees, has endorsed Edwards every time he has run for public office. They supported Edwards’ Senate run in 1998 and, after endorsing him in the 2004 presidential primary, NCAE members traveled to early states to organize other teachers to vote for Edwards.

"We need a leader with the strength and vision to compete in battleground states like North Carolina," said Eddie Davis, president of NCAE. "John Edwards is the candidate who shares our values, understands our issues and offers real and bold solutions. Edwards’ comprehensive education plans borrow from some of the best reform practices we have here in North Carolina- involving expert educators in school reforms and supporting Smart Start, which coordinates education, health care and family support services for children before they enter school. He also understands that teachers, not tests, are the single most important factor in successful schools and has introduced plans to radically overhaul No Child Left Behind, increase incentives for teachers in high-poverty schools, and improve training and mentoring programs for teachers. The greatest challenges to our schools are addressing the needs of children and families who live in poverty. John’s focus on the underserved is meaningful to our members."

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the NCAE," said Edwards. "Education is an issue that’s very personal to me. I came from a small town in rural North Carolina, but I had public school teachers who taught me to believe I could do just about anything if I worked hard and played by the rules. So I understand why it’s so critical that we fix our education system and make sure that every child in America has the same opportunity to succeed that I had."

In September, Edwards unveiled his plan for "Restoring the Promise of American Schools" based on three guiding principles: every child should be prepared to succeed when they show up in the classroom; every classroom should be led by an excellent teacher; and every teacher should work in an outstanding school. To meet these principles, Edwards proposed a national "Great Promise" partnership to give a quality early childhood education to every four-year-old in the country and the creation of a national "Smart Start" program to improve child care and invest in child health. To help teachers achieve excellence, Edwards proposed reducing classroom sizes and increasing pay for teachers in successful high-poverty schools. He would also give extra support to teachers in the first years of their careers and step up efforts to recruit and train new teachers. Finally, Edwards proposed a complete overhaul of No Child Left Behind, the creation of a School Success Fund to allow teams of experienced educators to spend a year at struggling schools, and launching a "Great Schools" initiative to build or expand 1,000 successful schools.

With the endorsement of the NCAE, Edwards has passed the 3.1 million members mark in union support. Last week Edwards won the endorsement of 11 SEIU state councils, representing over 1 million workers in Iowa, California, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio and Oregon. The endorsements will allow these 11 SEIU state councils to organize efforts to turn out caucus goers on Edwards’ behalf within Iowa, and in any other state where the SEIU state councils have also endorsed Edwards. The Iowa Postal Workers Union, representing 3,000 members, also endorsed Edwards last week. In September, Edwards earned the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union of America (200,000 active and retired members), the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (520,000 active members), the United Steelworkers (1.2 million active members and retirees), and the United Mine Workers of America (105,000 active members and retirees).

Join me in supporting John Edwards for President

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