ROSEMONT – Today Jill Biden, Ph.D., wife of Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden (D), talked with education leaders from across the state at the Illinois Education Association (IEA) Representative Assembly (RA). The IEA RA is the largest gathering of teachers, higher education faculty and support staff, education support staff, student educators and retired educators in the state.
“Public education matters. The primary in Illinois is a little more than a week away, and our educators are serious about voting for candidates who support public education,” IEA President Kathi Griffin said. “Our vote is our voice.”
More than 1200 educators are wearing red today in support of #RedforEd day at the IEA RA. #RedforEd is a grassroots movement that is inspiring large groups of educators to wear red in support of their students, schools and public education. All the democratic presidential candidates were invited to speak or send a surrogate to the IEA RA. After Biden addressed members during the official IEA RA, she, along with Griffin, visited with small groups of educators from across the state.
“There is nothing more important to our Democracy or the future of our nation than giving our children the kind of quality schools they deserve,” Biden said. “Educators, we are on the frontlines every day. We know what our kids need to grow, to be creative and inspired, to become the best versions of themselves.”
“Nearly everything that happens in our schools and on our college campuses is determined by a decision made outside of it,” Griffin said. “Our advocacy for our students can’t end with our work in the classroom. We need to make sure all our elected officials from school boards to the White House are people who support, value and advocate for the needs of public educators and our students.”
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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.