Breaking News from America's Progressive Community...
8, 1998 10:40 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: National Education Association
Steve Wollmer, 202-822-7239,
or Susan Whitmore, 202-822-7251
|NEA President Urges School Modernization; Cites Calif. Proposal|
BEACH - September 8 - Kicking off National School Modernization Day, the president
of the National Education Association (NEA) today encouraged Americans to focus on the
need for modernizing the nation's public schools -- and urged Californians to support a
state ballot proposal that would provide $9.2 billion to replace, rebuild, and renovate
that state's aging and overcrowded classrooms.
"Two-thirds of America's 80,000 public schools are in need of extensive repair, overhaul, or replacement," NEA President Bob Chase told an opening day audience of Long Beach teachers and education employees. "The average school in this country was built during the Truman administration. Our children deserve modern schools, with small class sizes, and access to the latest in educational technology.
"The public agrees," Chase said, citing last month's Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup Poll that showed 86 percent of Americans -- and 89 percent of parents of public school students -- favor increased funding to help modernize the nation's schools.
"Research backs up what we know intuitively," Chase said. "There is a strong and direct connection between the condition of a school building and a child's ability to learn. Yet we do little as a nation to see that our students are learning in modern schools, with small classes, that are wired for technology." Only 27 percent of the nation's classrooms are wired for the Internet, Chase noted.
The cost of modernizing the nation's public schools has been estimated at $112 billion by the U.S. General Accounting Office, and an additional $100 billion may be needed for new schools to meet the demands of soaring enrollments.
"It's going to take a national commitment to our kids to tackle this challenge," Chase said. "Here in California, there is an important initiative on the November ballot -- Proposition 1-A -- that makes that commitment." That measure, supported by the California Teachers Association, would provide an estimated $9.2 billion to rebuild, replace, and renovate the state's schools.
"This is an investment in our children's future -- in all our futures -- that we simply must make," Chase said.
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 2.4 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support personnel, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.
NewsCenter | E-Mail Us!
© Copyrighted 1997/1998. All rights Reserved.
NewsCenter is a project of Common Dreams