The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) assures that children with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education. When Congress passed IDEA, it promised the federal government would pay 40 percent of special education costs.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the IDEA Full Funding Act.
Now that the House has passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), the ball is in the Senate’s court. S. 874 and S. 879 provide a pathway to citizenship—and certainty—for Dreamers brought to this country as minors, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and people granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for humanitarian reasons—populations that including tens of thousands of educators in our classrooms.
Email your senators and tell them to support the Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874) and the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency Act (S. 879).
Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), which governs student-aid programs, federal aid to colleges, oversight of teacher preparation programs, and much more, is long overdue. NEA’s Recommendations for Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act outline our priorities for reauthorization. We believe any changes to the HEA must protect the interests of students, faculty, and staff, and ensure that we are funding the best education possible.
Our recommendations focus on promoting access, affordability, and diversity; providing a safe and supportive learning environment for students, faculty, and staff; and reinvesting in post-secondary education for the 21st century.
Email your representatives and tell them to reinvest in post-secondary education, focus on affordability, and provide supportive environments for teaching and learning.
The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act would make it federal law that our nation’s 17.3 million public employees—including educators—have the right to organize and bargain collectively.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.
The Alternatives to Detention Act recognizes that asylum seekers, migrant children and families, and other vulnerable groups should not be in dangerous, overcrowded mass detention centers. Instead, they should be treated with dignity and await the outcome of their immigration cases in settings like community-based supervision and support.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Alternatives to Detention Act.
The administration has announced plans to capture and deport thousands of undocumented immigrants all across America. Though the raids have been delayed—for now—the safety, health, and well-being of immigrant children and families continues to be threatened. More than 160 national and state organizations, including NEA, have endorsed two bills to help keep immigrant children and families safe—and together.
Send an email urging your representative in the House to cosponsor the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act (H.R. 3451) and the Help Separated Families Act (H.R. 3452).
NEA members who work for Department of Defense schools in places like Europe and Asia are being unfairly taxed. When they move overseas to educate military-connected students, or return to the U.S. after retiring or separating from federal employment they are taxed on moving allowances and assistance provided to them.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made the assistance that these NEA members receive when moving to or from a duty location taxable. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) employees and other federal workers who move between two duty stations can be reimbursed for these taxes. But employees moving to their first duty location or moving back to the U.S. after completing their federal careers are currently ineligible for the reimbursement.
These civilian employees should not be taxed for the work they do in faraway places. The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would extend tax reimbursement to these incoming/outgoing employees. Let’s urge members of the House of Representatives to include this language in their version of NDAA.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program encourages college graduates to pursue careers in public service. education. If educators, first responders, social workers, and other public servants make 10 years’ worth of qualified monthly payments on their federal student loans, they can receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
But that’s not happening, because the program is broken. Fewer than 1 percent of eligible public servants who apply actually receive the loan forgiveness they were promised.
Tell Congress to invest in public service by fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019 (S. 684/H.R. 748) would repeal the 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored “high cost” health coverage scheduled to take effect in 2022.
Send an email urging your senators to cosponsor S. 684 and an email urging your representative in the House to VOTE YES on H.R. 748.
On June 19, 2019, the House passed a FY2020 funding bill that includes several billion dollars in increases for early childhood, K-12, and higher education initiatives.
Email your senators and tell them to increase education funding.
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expired in 2015. Since then, funding has been inconsistent. As a result, rural areas across the United States face budgetary shortfalls that could force big cuts in public education and other essential community services.
Email your representatives and tell them to put the SRS program on a firm financial footing.
The ESP Family Leave Act (S. 1401) updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so that more education support professionals (ESPs) can access benefits without risking their jobs. ESPs who work only during the school year or less than eight hours a day often struggle to clear the FMLA’s 1,250 hours of service threshold.
Email your senators and urge them to support the ESP Family Leave Act (S. 1401).
The Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2019 (S. 1122/H.R. 1109) would provide funding for public schools across the country to partner with local mental health professionals to establish on-site mental health care services for students. Email your representatives and tell them to support the Mental Health Services for Students Act.
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is engaging in illegal contract actions against its employees – thousands of whom are members of NEA and its Federal Education Association affiliate.
In its Stateside schools, DoDEA is forcing educators to work 24 additional, unpaid hours each academic quarter on “busy work” unrelated to their jobs, denying students the support they deserve and creating havoc for educators struggling to find last-minute child care and make other arrangements. DoDEA’s actions are part of its illegal implementation of an unsigned contract that the Federal Education Association – Stateside Region is contesting.
Overseas, DoDEA is trying to eliminate all grievance and due-process rights for workers, seeking to make them at-will employees subject to management’s whims. DoDEA also intends to extend the duty day without added compensation, curtail the ability of union representatives to serve their members, and make it even harder to fix pay problems. These are just a few of the harmful actions they’re proposing in contract negotiations for Overseas employees.
Congress is the closest thing DoDEA schools have to a school board. Tell your elected representatives to rein in DoDEA’s harmful actions and protect the quality of Department of Defense schools, for the sake of the military dependents they serve and the educators who work in them.
School food service workers serve millions of meals each day, providing healthy, nutritious foods that fuel students’ minds and bodies. Yet, many of these professionals don’t have access to the training they need for this important work. The Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act would help make training available that maximizes hands-on opportunities during regular, paid working hours.
Email members of the House of Representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act.
The Keep Our PACT Act would ensure education is a priority in the federal budget by creating a mandatory 10-year path to fully funding both Title I and IDEA.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Keep Our PACT Act.
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), introduced identical resolutions (H. Res. 231/S. Res. 110) saying federal funds should NOT be used to train or arm educators.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support H. Res. 231 and S. Res. 110.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act would once again require states and localities with recent histories of voter discrimination to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before making any changes in their election laws.
Email your members of Congress and urge them to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
The Equality Act would give LGBTQ people consistent and explicit protection from discrimination in key areas of life: employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
Email your senators and urge them to support the Equality Act.
Expanding background checks to close gun sales loopholes is a first step to keeping schools and communities safe from gun violence. Firearms are the leading cause of death for African American children and the second leading cause of death for all American children.
Email your senators and urge them to support the Background Check Expansion Act.
The Raise the Wage Act gradually increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2024. Forty million Americans—nearly 30 percent of the workforce—would benefit from the increase, including many education support professionals essential the daily operation of our schools.
Send an email urging your senators to cosponsor S. 150 and an email urging your representative in the House to VOTE YES on H.R. 582.
Equal pay for equal work is NOT today’s reality. Women still earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, with women of color receiving even less.
Email your members of Congress and urge them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that unfairly deprive 2.5 million Americans of the Social Security benefits they have earned—educators, police officers, firefighters, and other employees of state and local governments who dedicate their lives to public service.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Social Security Fairness Act.
The Social Security 2100 Act would increase benefits across the board, calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments for seniors more accurately, and increase the minimum benefit to ensure that low-earning workers do not retire into poverty.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to support the Social Security 2100 Act.
The Rebuild America's Schools Act would create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax-credit bond program that targets high-poverty schools whose facilities pose health and safety risks to students and staff.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.
Taxpayer dollars should go to the public schools that educate 9 out of 10 Americans, not private schools that can pick and choose their students based on economic status, academic achievement, or even gender.
Email your members of Congress and tell them to reject Betsy DeVos’ latest voucher scheme, the so-called Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act (S. 634/H.R. 1434).