SPRINGFIELD The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the first union to recommend Democrat Sean Casten for the 6th Congressional seat. Today’s announcement comes after a Casten recommendation from the IEA Illinois Political Action Committee for Education (IPACE) Committee. That recommendation was confirmed by the National Education Association Political Action Committee (NEA PAC).

“We need someone who is willing to stand up to the skyrocketing tuition costs our college students are being hit with; someone who will fight to make sure public education is not privatized, someone who understands the negative impact trauma has on our students and someone who makes the safety of our students, teachers and support staff a priority,” IEA President Kathi Griffin said. “That’s why we are standing with Sean Casten for Congress.”

Griffin went on to say Casten is a friend of public education and the IEA membership is putting its full support behind his candidacy.

“Public education is absolutely essential for democracy to work. Every child should be able to attend a good school, taught by professional educators who care about their success,” Sean Casten said. “I’m proud of the public school education I benefited from and the way it prepared me for success in life. With that in mind, we must work to make sure every young person has that same opportunity to thrive.”

All candidates, both Democrat and Republican, were given the opportunity to complete questionnaires sent out by the IPACE Committee. Republican, incumbent Congressman Peter Roskam declined to meet with IEA leadership.

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.