The following is quoted verbatim from the NEA booklet
"Advancing NEA's Legislative Agenda," July 1995.
In stark contrast to the 104th Congress, the 103rd will be remembered
as the most pro-education Congress in more than a decade, best exemplified by the
passage of the NEA-supported reauthorization of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Signed into law by President
Clinton on October 20, 1994, the legislation authorizes $60 billion
over five years in aid to public schools. At the same time, the
Association lobbied for and won an $869 million increase in Fiscal
Year 1995 funding for programs administered by the Department of
NEA was successful in gaining $2 billion in grant
programs for education, substance abuse and treatment, and jobs
programs, as part of the $30.2 billion violent Crime Control and
Law Enforcement Act of 1994 signed by President Clinton in
September of 1994.
NEA was able to defeat a wide range of
attacks on public school, students, and education employees. These
included a measure to promote government sponsored prayer in public
schools, an amendment to create federal vouchers for private school
tuition, and an amendment to place federal limits on instructional
materials, instruction, counseling, and other services relating to
These victories built upon substantial gains made earlier in
the 103rd Congress: the enactment of Goals 2000 legislation and the
creation of a new school-to-work program.
On January 26, 1995, the House voted to amend the U.S.
Constitution to require that Congress pass a balanced federal
budget, an extreme step toward eliminating the federal commitment
to public education. NEA opposed the measure, which would have
forced deep, across-the-board cuts to domestic programs leading to
the elimination of education.
There is a common thread running through the Republican
leadership's agenda: a commitment to "less." Less government,
less perceived "intrusion." NEA continues to battle for funding at
the federal and state level.
Congressional Contact Team
Much of NEA's legislative success in the past can be
attributed to the effectiveness of the Congressional Contact Team
(CCT) network. NEA, with an average of nearly 5,000 members in
each of the nation's 435 congressional districts, is in a unique
position to use at-home lobbying efforts to advance the cause of
public education and improve the status of security of Association
The nearly 1,100 CCT members reflect NEA's diverse membership,
including elementary and secondary, vocational, postsecondary, and
retired education employees. They are trained and briefed at the
state, regional, and national levels. CCT members provide a well-
informed and dedicated force of grass-roots lobbyists who
complement the efforts of the full-time Government Relations staff
based in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. NEA's message is
delivered to Congress through lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and
at-home contacts with Representatives and Senators.
In addition to their role in advocating NEA's Legislative
Program, CCT members are responsible for providing information to
and building support among other NEA members and the public.
During the 104th Congress, the CCT program has focused on opposing
proposed cuts to education funding, the elimination of the
Department of Education, and the federal voucher legislation. From
March 27 to 29, 1995, CCT members gathered in Washington, D.C., to
advance NEA's position on a continued federal commitment to public