June 22, 2018
Your advocacy helped defeat hateful anti-immigrant bill; House could vote on another one this week
By a vote of 193-231, the House rejected the NEA-opposed Securing America’s Future Act on June 21. Now, the House is preparing for a possible vote on the anti-immigrant Ryan/Goodlatte bill (H.R. 6136) that wastes billions of dollars on a border wall, calls for jailing children and families seeking asylum, and does NOT offer a reasonable a path to citizenship — 82 percent of Dreamers would not be helped at all. NEA has long advocated for the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440), which provides a pathway to citizenship via multiple tracks, including higher education, military service, and employment. The vast majority of Americans support this approach, but GOP leadership will not even allow a vote on the Dream Act. Click on the take action button and tell your representative to VOTE NO on H.R. 6136 and support taking up the Dream Act.
Keep the pressure on! Tell senators again not to add a voucher program to the must-pass defense bill
On May 26, the Senate HELP Committee is expected to mark up a bill reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which helps ensure that all students, no matter what zip code they live in, have access to high-quality career and technical education (CTE). The House passed a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Perkins Act, H.R. 2353, a year ago. NEA’s priorities for the Senate bill include strengthening professional development, especially as it relates to serving special needs and under-represented students, like English-language learners; involving educators in decision-making and planning; and addressing skills gaps by aligning CTE programs with in-demand industries and giving programs flexibility to address local labor markets. CTE programs have long enjoyed broad, bipartisan support — their 93 percent high school graduation rate is 10 points higher than the overall graduation rate. Click on the take action button and tell your senators to support a bipartisan reauthorization of the Perkins Act.
Tell the Census Bureau not to add a citizenship question
Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced in March that he has directed the Census Bureau to add an untested and unnecessary question to the 2020 Census form inquiring about citizenship status — a decision that is a bad for the census, bad for our communities, and bad for America. At least six lawsuits have been filed to fight the decision. A “friend of the court” brief signed by NEA and more than 150 organizations committed to advancing civil and human rights notes that the Census Bureau itself has long opposed adding a citizenship question because it would lead to an undercount that “impact[s] hard-to-count populations disproportionately.” The brief also notes that collecting citizenship data would undermine enforcement of the Voting Rights Act because it would “undercount the minority populations who rely on that data to bring VRA claims.” Click on the take action button and tell the Census Bureau NOT to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. And feel free to add your own thoughts about the negative effects of a citizenship question to the action alert.
Cheers and Jeers
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their letter urging President Trump to present a plan “as soon as possible” to reunite more than 2,000 of children separated from their families due to the administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy
45 Senate Democrats for their letter urging President Trump to reconsider and rescind three executive orders that undermine the rights of federal employees, including educators in Department of Defense schools
Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Norma Torres (D-CA) for tweets urging common-sense steps to prevent gun violence and honoring the third anniversary of the massacre in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine people lost their lives
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for introducing the Help Encourage a Lifetime of Public Service (HELPS) Act, which would encourage public service by waiving the interest on federal student loans for each year worked in a public service job
Trump administration’s radical plan to merge the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor