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Missouri educator implores Sen. McCaskill to defend students in budget deal

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In an interview, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said the details of a deal to get the nation’s fiscal house in order and avoid automatic, across-the-board cuts to spending programs at the end of the year don’t matter.

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“We need a $4 trillion deal that is market credible,” she said. “The details of the deal are less important than the fact that we can reach a compromise…. That means everybody’s going to hurt a little, and everyone is not going to get their way.”

Missouri National Education Association President Chris Guinther, a teacher on leave from the Francis Howell School District, traveled to Washington to meet with Sen. McCaskill on Wednesday.

“In Missouri, and all across this nation, hardworking American families are still hurting–a lot, not just a little,” Guinther said.

“As our children sit in classrooms busting at the seams or as educators helplessly watch as the special education programs they desperately need disappear, the wealthiest two percent continue to benefit from the unnecessary Bush tax cuts.

Guinther, far left, met with Sen. McCaskill on Wednesday.

“We have already asked our children and the most vulnerable to sacrifice. It’s not right to ask them to shoulder any more cuts–especially because these are the types of cuts that don’t heal.

“Instead of telling our children and seniors that they’re not going to ‘get their way,’ we ask Sen. McCaskill to focus on getting a good deal for working families in Missouri, keeping the promises made to our seniors, investing in the future and creating jobs.

“The devil is in the details, especially in any deal Congress reaches to avert a fiscal cliff. We only have a first-grade student for one year. If we cut back on the support for that student for one year, we may never get the opportunity to make it up again. That’s a so-called detail that isn’t lost on Missouri educators, parents or students.”

Find out more about how the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts would impact Missouri and all other states.

The 35,000-member MNEA represents teachers, education support professionals, college faculty, retired teachers and students studying to be teachers in school districts and on college campuses throughout the state. It is the Missouri affiliate of the 3.2 million-member NEA.

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