Here are the links the NEA gathered to fulfill the motion I passed at the NEA RA
LEONARD SEGAL, Education Advocate
Here is NEW BUSINESS ITEM 31 submitted by Leonard Segal. It was passed at the July 2012 National Education Association Representative Assembly.
Adopted As Amended
Consistent with our Legislative Program, NEA shall publicize lesson plans through appropriate and available online and other no cost vehicles, tools and resources to increase civic engagement that encourages a lifelong habit of informed voting in every classroom, and extending into the community. Special emphasis should be put on collecting teaching lessons on the struggle for voting rights and the current struggles against voter suppression laws.
Public education is one of the pillars of democracy. The most fundamental right and responsibility is voting. The people who get elected to school boards, state legislatures, governors, Congress and the Presidency determine educator pay, benefits, rights, working conditions and layoffs, and the funding of all other community services. However, only 10% of citizens vote in primary elections. Due to issues like gerrymandering everything is mostly impossible to change after the primary election. That means only 6% of voters vote on the issues and candidates that decide whether to fix our communities or give more tax breaks to wealthy corporations.
More and more of the country’s wealth is being shifted to the top 1% who pass laws to increase this trend, pass voter suppression laws and laws that restrict the rights of women, students, unions and minorities, as well as attacking the social safety net like Medicare. An unlimited amount of anonymous money is now available to be used by major corporations to fund their campaigns.
We don’t have trillions of dollars to match big corporations but we do have access to millions of students who turn 18 each year, their parents and other community members. If we don’t increase informed voting and other civic engagement our communities will continue to suffer and we are in danger of losing our democracy.
It would be good for a curriculum that teaches a culture of voting to include homework assignments that fosters interaction with their parents, and media literacy. Students should be given opportunities to practice self-government in the classroom such as voting on class rules.