Jeff Barnett, Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th District, has received the endorsement of the National Education Association’s Fund for Children and Public Education and the support of the Virginia Education Association, organizations that represent 60,000 education professionals in Virginia and 3.2 million across the nation.
“I am honored to receive the support of the Virginia Education Association and the National Education Association. Both of my daughters attended local public high schools and graduated from Virginia public universities, so I know the tremendous value of a public education” Barnett said in a press release this week announcing the endorsement. “In today’s globally integrated economy, a first class education is very important to a young person’s success, both as an individual and as a public citizen. Our long-term economic success depends on America continuing to have the most educated workforce in the world. I am proud to say that Virginia’s public schools are already among the finest in the nation. I am committed to making them even better.”
Barnett has five legislative priorities for improving education:
1) Protect and expand access to Pre-K programs
2) Re-engineer the flawed “No Child Left Behind” program
3) Pay teachers a professional salary
4) Increase access to post-secondary education
5) Promote lifelong education to enhance economic competitiveness
“As a supporter of Col. Barnett, I am most pleased that he has received the NEA backing for the 10th Congressional District seat” said Clarke County School Board Vice Chairperson Barbara Lee (Millwood). “As a former member of the Virginia Education Association for almost 40 years, as well as a member of its Board of Directors (1975-79), I am well aware of the long and thorough process which it takes to get an endorsement. The endorsement reflects the dedication and utmost respect that Col. Barnett has for the public schools of Virginia, his two daughters being products of the Fairfax School system, as well as the nation. I am confident he will support education to the best of his abilities.”
The NEA Fund recommendation process begins with a completed candidate questionnaire, followed by a personal interview with a panel of educators in the 10th Congressional District. In both, according to the Virginia Education Association, Barnett demonstrated an understanding of the complexity of the issues facing public education and a grasp of the direction is best for schools.
“Jeff Barnett understands the vital importance of protecting public education,” said Dr. Kitty Boitnott, VEA president and chair of the VEA Fund. “He also knows that true education reform is achieved through accountability systems that promote growth, not by inflexible tests that stifle innovation and deep learning.”
“We look forward to working with him as legislators approach ways to best overhaul No Child Left behind in the 112th Congress” Boitnott added.