Education News

NM gov candidate Steve Pearce’s ‘sweet’ words don’t jibe with his ‘sour’ education record

by Charles Goodmacher, government relations director, National Education Association New Mexico
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore

“Students sense when an educator is trying to gloss over sour actions with sweet sounding words,” notes NEA-New Mexico President Betty Patterson, a special education teacher of 36 years.

In his recent television advertisement, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce tries to create the image he will be a strong governor on behalf of our students by using sweet-sounding words such as “Let our teachers teach. … Good teachers don’t give up on their kids. As governor, I will not give up on our teachers.”

The unvarnished reality is that Pearce already has given up on our teachers and our students. The sweet words in his advertisement don’t jibe with his sour record. His record has earned him an “F” by our National Education Association! In sharp contrast, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s actions have earned her an “A” every year!

Pearce votes in support of the (President Donald) Trump/(Education Secretary Betsy) DeVos education agenda, defeating many valuable programs that could provide every student a more equal opportunity to succeed.

Talk is cheap, even if slick television commercials aren’t. Actions do speak louder, and are valued more, than hollow words. On the basis of his actions as a U.S. representative, Steve Pearce’s education record abysmally fails the test, says Charles Bowyer, NEA-New Mexico executive director.

We invite the public and all who value public education and want the best for our students to consider Pearce’s actual record as they evaluate the legitimacy of the claims in his slick advertisements. Check out On The Issues, a non-partisan web site: ontheissues.org/House/Steve_Pearce_Education.htm. Can Pearce be trusted to take actions in accord with what he sweetly pledges during the campaign rather than on his actual record?

“On education issues, the choice is clear. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s record shines, while Pearce’s record is tarnished. We implore fellow New Mexicans to join with our NEA-New Mexico EdPAC and Board of Directors to support Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor, but don’t take our word – check the record,” encourages Patterson.

Pearce earned his F for education when he voted against New Mexico students and local public schools by supporting the Republican leadership-proposed fiscal 2018 budget. NEA opposed passage of the House Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 71), which calls for deep cuts to programs like education and health care in order to pave the way for massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. The legislation passed by a vote of 219-206 on Oct. 5, 2017, adding trillions to the national debt today’s students will be burdened with for the rest of their lives.

He earned his F for voting against restoring fuding for After School Programs (H-1-506), and when he supported private school vouchers that would take public dollars away from public classrooms. And he earned his F for education every year he served in Congress. Every year. No deceptive, sweet-sounding words and slick video production can change his abysmal education record.

It’s on the basis of what they have done with Congressional opportunities to support students and teachers that NEA-New Mexico and our NEA-NM EdPAC recommend Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor.

Want to learn more about Lujan Grisham’s education record? This might help.

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