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NEA Joins Affirmative Action Suit

The Association and its Michigan affiliate file a brief in support of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

The Michigan Education Association and NEA have filed a joint amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in support of the federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s Proposal 2, a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to ban affirmative action programs used by Michigan’s universities.

The case is Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et al. v. Regents of the University of Michigan, et al. In 2006, the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and several other organizations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court challenging the legality of Proposal 2. In March 2008, a judge dismissed the lawsuit. In December, the district court denied a motion to reconsider the March 18 ruling, hence the appeal to Sixth Circuit.

Delegates will gather July 1 through July 6 in San Diego, CA, for NEA’s 147th Annual Meeting and 88th Representative Assembly (RA). The RA is the Association’s highest decision-making body and, with over 9,000 delegates, the world’s largest democratic, deliberative body.

The Annual Meeting convenes for six days every summer, with the first two days devoted to discussions, conferences, and exhibits. The final four days are devoted to the Representative Assembly itself. During these important deliberations, delegates, including hundreds from higher education, debate issues that impact American public education at all levels, elect top officers, and set policy for the 3.2 million-member Association.

NEA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have joined forces to advance dropout prevention efforts, promote high school graduation, and increase public engagement, particularly in minority communities.

“Educators can’t stem the tide of dropouts alone,” says NEA Vice-President Lily Eskelsen, who spoke at BGCA’s National Conference in Atlanta. “We need partners like Boys & Girls Clubs of America that have a proven track record in developing innovative strategies, programs, and partnerships to help young people and their families, particularly high-risk youth, build successful lives.”

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel applauded President Barack Obama for making education a cornerstone of his vision for America during his first 100 days in office. Obama has signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help struggling families, public schools, colleges, and states cope with the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression.
He’s also proposed making Pell Grants an entitlement, signed legislation giving women the right to fight for fair and equal pay, and extended the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“We thank President Obama for delivering on his promise,” Van Roekel said.

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