Biden seeks re-election support from teachers union

July 4, 2011 4:53:11 AM PDT
The campaign trail brought Vice President Joe Biden to Chicago Sunday as he pushed hard for the nation's educators to endorse President Barack Obama's reelection.

Speaking to the annual meeting of the National Education Association, Biden voiced a full-throated attack on Republicans and their vision for America and for the future of education. He accused Republicans of not believing in public education the way Democrats do.

Biden admitted the administration has made mistakes in its education policies, and some teachers agreed, saying they don't like some of the priorities of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. But he told the teachers Obama is on their side and accused Republicans of being anti-union.

"The new Republican Party has undertaken the most direct assault on labor, not just in my lifetime but since the 1920s," Biden said.

"I think they've heard a lot that educators are not happy with what's been going on in education. We are not happy with Arne Duncan and them trying to turn everything into charter schools. So I'm glad he came today," said teacher Veronica Miranda Pinkney.

"On this fundamental question, whose vision do we share in terms of the future of America and public education? We'll know the answer tomorrow, but I'm optimistic that answer will be Barack Obama," said Ken Swanson, president of the Illinois Education Association.

About 9,000 educators attended Sunday's meeting. The NEA says it has more than 3 million members.

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