National Education Association
Robert F. Chase, President
Reg Weaver, Vice President
Dennis Van Roekel, Secretary-Treasurer

Don Cameron, Executive Director

1201 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20036-3290

                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                     October 8, 1999

NEA recommends Al Gore for Presidential primary
"A tireless leader for quality education for all children"

   WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Education Association (NEA) today named Vice President Al Gore as its recommended candidate for the 2000 presidential primary, lauding his lifetime, unwavering leadership on behalf of children and public education.  With nearly 2.5 million members, NEA is the nation's largest professional employee organization.

   "Al Gore has fought for children.  For children nutrition programs.  For immunization.  For expanded preschool and afterschool programs," said NEA President Bob Chase.  "Al Gore understands what children need to start school ready to learn."

   Chase ticked off key congressional victories Gore clinched on the E-rate, full funding for Head Start, expanded preschool and afterschool programs, and increased access to higher education.  He added that currently Gore is leading the charge to reduce class size and modernize public schools.  "Some claim to see stiffness in Al Gore.  I see spine," said Chase.  "Gore is a tireless leader for quality education for all children."

   Speaking before the NEA Board of Directors, the group casting its vote for the primary recommendation, Chase cited Gore's depth and breadth of knowledge about the link between quality public education and support for families.  "Al Gore has fought for America's working people--the parents of the children we teach," said Chase.  "He has fought for Family and Medical leave and for expanded health insurance."

   NEA invited all announced presidential candidates--Republicans and Democrats--to participate in its recommendation process.  Chase expressed deep disappointment that none of the GOP candidates chose to complete the process, despite the record number of Republican endorsements made by the NEA in the last election.

"Al Gore has earned our support.  Time and again, he has stood up for children and public education," said Chase.  "Now it is time--proudly and enthusiastically--for us to stand with Al Gore."

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