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“Educators Will Have a Partner in the White House": Highlights from Hillary Clinton’s NEA Speech

“Educators Will Have a Partner in the White House:” Highlights from Hillary Clinton’s NEA Speech

Since the very beginning of campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton has been viewed as a favorite of the educator population. Early on, Clinton cinched important endorsements from powerful teachers’ unions, including the National Education Association.

Yesterday, Clinton further discussed her views on education in her speech at the National Education Association Conference.

“Thank you for the insights that you have shared with me, not only through this campaign but going back many years. I want to say right from the outset, that I’m with you,” Clinton began as she spoke directly to the organization’s teachers.

“If I am fortunate to be elected president, educators will have a partner in the White House and you’ll always have a seat at the table,” she continued.

Clinton used the time to talk about her major education views, including her support of universal preschool for every child, something she made a pivotal part of her campaign early on.

“When we invest in education, we invest in our country’s future.”

While most of Clinton’s 30-minute speech was well-received by the crowd, she received some flack after she mentioned her support of public charter schools.

“Let’s focus on all our great schools… let’s replicate their success everywhere across America. And when schools get it right, whether they are traditional public schools or public charter schools, let’s figure out what’s working and share it with school’s across America,” she said to a thunderous round of boos.

She redeemed herself with the crowd immediately after when she said, “We've got no time for all these education wars where people from the outside try to force for-profit schools on our kids. We will never stand for that, that is not acceptable.

Clinton spoke significantly about supporting educators to provide them with more support and resources to in turn better support America’s children.

She touched briefly on many different hot topics in education at the moment, including supporting computer science in K-12 schools, the responsibility to educate all children equally, the importance of increasing access to high-speed and affordable Internet and even the necessity of raising teacher pay.

Clinton saved the end of her speech to talk about her opponent Donald Trump, touching on one of the few statements he has made concerning education policy thus far. Clinton argued against Trump’s intentions to disband the Department of Education as well as brought up the “Trump Effect,” or the tendency of his aggressive speeches to support bullying in schools.

Other notable quotes from Clinton’s speech include:


  • ”We ask you [teachers] to help right wrongs from poverty and homelessness to the legacy of racial inequities stretching back centuries. We ask so much of you, and we don’t give you near enough in return."


  • ”We need to be serious about raising your pay because teachers make nearly 15 percent less than other college graduates in America. No educator should have to take second and third jobs just to get by.”


  • "Any remaining debt after you refinance will be forgiven after ten years. And we’ll go even further for those who teach in hard-to-fill subjects such as computer science or special education.”


  • ”When you’re forced to teach to a test, our children miss out on some of the most valuable lessons and experiences they can gain in the classroom.”


  • ”For anyone who has faced a hostile state legislature, a union-busting governor of both, help is on the way… I will stand up for your right to organize and bargain collectively.”


  • ”Consider this: there are more than half a million open jobs that require computing skills across the country and in every major industry but the majority of schools in the United States do not offer computer science…Give our educators the time and the resources they need to learn how to integrate digital tools into the curriculum.”


  • ”We need to finish the job and make sure every home in America has access to high-speed affordable connectivity.”


  • ”Too many of our public school students are living in poverty. That’s on all of us.”


  • ”Let’s create more community schools, more partnerships between schools, social services and non-profit organizations to provide a range of services and opportunities for kids. You should not have to be from a well-to-do family to get good mental health services or join a soccer team or be in a play in school.”


  • ”Now that agency [the Department of Education] doesn’t always get it right, but it provides support for vital programs from pre-K to Pell Grants… Donald Trump would leave out our most vulnerable students and let them fend for themselves.”


  • The bottom line is: That just like Trump shouldn’t have his finger on the button… he shouldn’t have anything to do with our children’s education or our public schools.”


  • ”I wish that more people thought about how Donald Trump’s rants are being heard by our children.”

To read more about where Hillary Clinton stands on education, read here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor



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