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VEA President Lauds Obama, Kaine Wins

A second term in the White House for President Barack Obama and a first term in the U.S. Senate for Tim Kaine are both significant victories for students and for our public schools here in Virginia, says Virginia Education Association President Meg Gruber.

“President Obama understands the importance of public education and the work our members do,” she said. “In addition, he knows that our schools need sufficient resources if we’re going to be able to do this important work. It’s wonderful to know that our public schools have a friend in the Oval Office.”

During his first four years in office, President Obama fought to keep class sizes small, and his economic stimulus strategy protected more than 400,000 educators’ jobs, including some 7,000 here in the Commonwealth. He has also boosted investment in early childhood education and worked to make a college education more affordable.

Gruber, an earth science teacher from Prince William County, also points to Senator-Elect Tim Kaine’s long record of support for public education. As governor, he emphasized student readiness to learn by expanding pre-kindergarten programs, and he’s the last chief executive in Virginia to add money to the state’s Teacher Salary Incentive Fund. Since his Administration, Virginia’s teachers have fallen more than $7,000 behind the national average salary for teachers.

“Our members know Tim Kaine and how he feels about our public schools,” Gruber said. “He’s been there for us, and we look forward to working with him in his new role in the Senate.”

 In his victory speech on Election Night, Kaine specifically thanked educators for their work on his behalf.

 In the state’s congressional races, VEA-recommended candidates Bobby Scott, Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran also won their races.

VEA members, who live in every Congressional District and precinct in the state, played a key role in both the presidential and Senate contests. Educators volunteered numerous hours of their time, staffing phone banks, canvassing and writing letters of support for Obama, Kaine and other candidates.

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