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Association Backs “Kids, Not Cuts,” Urges Congress to Prevent Fiscal Cliff

Two days after Americans cast their ballots, Virginia educators Thursday called on political leaders to protect children and students from draconian cuts that would result from sequestration, the so‐called “Fiscal Cliff.”

At a news briefing in Leesburg, Association Presidents Joey Mathews (Loudoun Education Association), Michael Hairston (Fairfax Education Association), and Jim Livingston (Prince Williams Education Association) urged Congress to protect vital services for the Commonwealth's children.

“Our best estimate is that the budget cuts would result in a reduction of more than $75 million in federal funding for Virginia public schools and programs serving children,” said Mathews.

"Senator Webb and Senator Warner, you and your colleagues in Congress must choose kids over CEOs," said Mathews, who represents 3,400 educators in Loudoun. "We need to make investments that strengthen our economy, not weaken it."

Deep, across-the-board cuts to education and domestic programs are at stake due to the so-called fiscal cliff. Some lawmakers continue to eye a larger deal that could cut funding to Head Start, special education, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.  The cuts to public education and children’s programs would exceed $4 billion nationally.

"Any deal to reduce the deficit must take a balanced approach between reducing spending and raising revenues, said Hairston, representing nearly 6,000 educators. "We cannot balance the budget on the backs of children!"

The three local Association presidents also asked all Virginian educators to take the "Kids, Not Cuts" Pledge at By signing the pledge, educators are signaling their commitment to hold members of Congress accountable.

In Northern Virginia, "We are urging our Association members and members of the public to contact Senators Webb and Warner and contact Senator-Elect Tim Kaine," said Livingston. "Tell them we are committed to standing up for the services needed by the most vulnerable in our classrooms.  Encourage them to stand up for the children too!"

Media Coverage: Read coverage of the rally by Leesburg Today and view a video here.

Photo: Association members and supporters at Leesburg rally November 8.

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