Romney continues to draw fire for class size comment, teacher attacks


by Félix Pérez/photo courtesy of Dan Ramos

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicks off a six-state bus tour today beginning in New Hampshire, and while educators do not have a seat on the bus, they are making make sure Romney is held to account for his recent attacks on public school employees and comments that class size doesn’t matter.

In Cincinnati, more than 20 educators were among 60 to 70 demonstrators who came out June 13 to draw attention to Romney’s recent statements. Romney was nearby at a $2,500 per person, campaign fundraising event.

“Every day I work to ensure that our youth are the best and brightest,” Tom Frank, an elementary school music teacher in Price Hill, told “Romney’s plan makes our children less educated and our neighborhoods less safe to pay for his tax cuts for the rich.”

Romney generated negative headlines last week when he said President Barack Obama “wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman [sic], more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

In a statement, John Stocks, executive director of the National Education Association, said:

It is appalling how Romney takes an almost disdainful attitude toward critical public servants like firefighters protecting our communities and teachers educating our children.

For his part, President Obama has been urging Congress to pass legislation that would provide funds to keep teachers, first responders and police officers on the job. Congressional Republicans and Romney steadfastly oppose the bill.

Romney also continues to draw criticism from educators for claiming, while on a visit to a school in Philadelphia last month, that class size does not make a difference for students.

One consequence is the growing popularity on Twitter and Facebook of a picture of an Etch A Sketch with the words “Mitt Romney, CLASS SIZE COUNTS.”

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