The Iowa State Education Association’s leader says the nation’s two-point-seven million unionized teachers want change in federal education policy, and they’ll work to elect democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. I-S-E-A president Linda Nelson is at the National Education Association convention, and she says the Bush Administration’s “No Child Left Behind Act” is not popular with the teachers there. Nelson says there are 37 ways in the law that students and schools can fail in making adequate yearly progress, and Nelson says the law must be fixed to “lift children up” and the feds must put more money into the program. Nelson says the Bush Administration has cut money for early childhood education, professional development for teachers and afterschool programs for kids. She says that’s one reason why N-E-A members will work hard “to replace this president.” About 86 percent of the 10-thousand delegates at the N-E-A meeting in Washington, D.C. voted to back John Kerry’s bid for the White House. Nelson says Kerry has “common sense solutions to the problems teachers face in the classroom.” This past February, the Iowa State Education’s political action committee voted to back Kerry, and Nelson says teachers in Iowa and across the country can be opinion leaders in their communities and have a “tremendous impact” on the outcome of the fall election. Nelson says people in every community trust their teachers, and when a teacher recommends a candidate, “it really has great value.” Nelson has been a classroom teacher in Council Bluffs, but is taking a two-year sabbatical to be president of the state teacher’s union.
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