Obama: Underfunding Public Education is an Attack on the Middle Class
President Barack Obama addressed the 2012 NEA Representative Assembly on Thursday, July 5, saying that Governor Mitt Romney’s attacks on teachers and public education are fundamentally an attack on the middle class.
He told more than 8,000 educators gathered in Washington: “You can’t help the American people without helping education.”
Romney’s vision of education is a system that only benefits the richest Americans, Obama said. But the power of public education is its potential for personal growth and collective progress.
“Michelle and I wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for great parents, great grandparents, and a great education,” he said, adding that every child has a right to achieve the same through public education.
Obama spoke to the educators via telephone from Ohio, where he is kicking off a campaign tour.
NEA President Dennis van Roekel praised the president’s efforts to save teachers’ jobs, provide quality early childhood education, and make college more affordable.
NEA was the first and largest union in American to support the president’s campaign for re-election. More than 20,000 NEA members have already joined Educators for Obama, and committed to volunteer for the effort.
“I’m proud to stand with you,” Obama said. “And I’m proud to have your support.”