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Education Reporter

NEA's Lobbying Goals for the 108th Congress 
Each year, the NEA publishes its legislative agenda for the upcoming congressional session. This year, the union has a new slogan: "Great Public Schools for Every Child." In the NEA's view, more government-funded programs are needed to achieve such schools, and these programs cover a laundry list of perceived needs. Phonics reading programs and traditional mathematics programs that include basic arithmetic instruction, however, are not on the list.

The following are excerpted from Advancing NEA's Legislative Program, July 2003:

I. High Quality Public Education 
a. Student Achievement 
NEA supports 
 programs to provide incentives for effective local schools and for reductions in class size; 
 programs that equitably assist schools in rural and urban areas to meet the needs of their students to cope with the special strains of their environments; 
 education programs that assure equal educational opportunities for migrants; 
b. Child Care and Early Childhood Education Development 
NEA supports 
 federal programs to facilitate and enhance school readiness; 
 federal assistance for early childhood education programs, including Head Start; 
 federal resources to enhance the availability and quality of public school child care and early education programs, including preschool and before- and after-school programs; 
d. Youth Development 
NEA supports 
 elementary and secondary school guidance and counseling and other pupil services, including school psychology and school social work, provided by appropriately certified and/or licensed professionals through federal/state/local agencies; 
 establishment of administrative structures to facilitate effective integration of guidance and counseling into the entire education experience; 
e. Safe Schools 
NEA supports 
 federal initiatives to prevent and combat violence and drugs in schools; 
 establishment of scientifically based nuclear-safe and waste-free zones surrounding schools; 
 a ban on the sale to the public of military and autoloading firearms with a capacity of firing 10 rounds or more from a single clip.

IV. Good Public Policy 
b. Human and Civil Rights 
NEA supports 
 full equality and opportunity - economic and educational - including the addition of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution; 
 reproductive freedom without governmental intervention; 
 the use of affirmative action to redress historical patterns of discrimination; 
 confirmation of Supreme Court Justices and federal judges who support civil rights; 
 U.S. participation in and equitable financing of the United Nations and related bodies; 
 ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; 
 ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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