A-1. Public Education. The Association believes that its members should support public education by sending their children to public educational institutions.
A-2. Educational Opportunity for All. The NEA believes that each student has the right to a free public education which should be suited to the needs of the individual and guaranteed by state constitutions and the United States Constitution. Education is a lifelong process, and public schools serve a constituency that embraces all age groups. Access and opportunities for postsecondary education should be widely available, and no qualified student should be denied such opportunities because of the cost of tuition and fees. The Association further believes that all schools must be accredited under uniform standards established by the appropriate agencies in collaboration with the Association and its affiliates.
A-13. Federal Financial Support for Education. The Association believes that funding for federal programs should be substantially increased, not merely redistributed among states. The Association further believes that there should be federal support for education whereby:
- The federal government assumes a full partnership role with local school districts by providing significant levels of federal funding for elementary and secondary education
- Federal education funding is clear and identifiable within the federal budget
- Categorical funding is assured in areas such as special education, bilingual/English as a second language, and the economically/educationally disadvantaged.
A-15. Financial Support of Public Education. Funds must be provided for programs to alleviate race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination and to eliminate portrayal of race, gender, and sexual orientation stereotypes in the public schools. The Association opposes the use of public revenues for private, parochial, or other nonpublic pre-K through 12 schools.
A-19. Undocumented Immigrants. The National Education Association believes that, regardless of the immigration status of students or their parents, every student has the right to a free public education in an environment free from harassment.
A-27. Deleterious Programs. The National Education Association believes that the following programs and practices are detrimental to public education and must be eliminated: privatization, performance contracting, tax credits for tuition to private and parochial schools, voucher plans (or funding formulas that have the same effect as vouchers), planned program budgeting systems (PPBS), and evaluations by private, profit-making groups.
A-28. Federally or State-Mandated Choice/Parental Option Plans. The Association opposes federally or state-mandated choice or parental option plans.
A-29. Voucher Plans and Tuition Tax Credits. The National Education Association believes that voucher plans and tuition tax credits or funding formulas that have the same effect - under which pre-K through 12 nonpublic school education is subsidized by tax monies - undermine public education, reduce the support needed to adequately fund public education, and have the potential for racial, economic, and social segregation of children. The Association opposes all attempts to establish and/or implement such plans.
B-1. Early Childhood Education. The National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight. The Association supports a high-quality program of transition from home and/or preschool to the public kindergarten or first grade. The Association further believes that early childhood education programs should include a full continuum of services for parents and children, including child care, child development, developmentally appropriate and diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices. The Association believes that federal legislation should be enacted to assist in organizing the implementation of fully funded early childhood education programs offered through the public schools. These programs should be available to all children on an equal basis and should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance.
B-6. Diversity. The National Education Association believes that our diverse society enriches all individuals. Similarities and differences among races, ethnicity, color, national origin, language, geographic location, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, size, occupation, and marital, parental, or economic status form the fabric of our society. The Association also believes that education should increase acceptance and foster an appreciation of the various qualities that pertain to people as individuals or members of a group. The Association further believes in the importance of observances, programs and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals.
B-7. Racism, Sexism, and Sexual Orientation Discrimination. The National Education Association believes in the equality of all individuals. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, immigration status, physical disabilities, ethnicity, occupation, and sexual orientation must be eliminated. The Association also believes that plans, activities, and programs for education employees, students, parents, and the community should be developed to identify and eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in all educational settings. Such plans, activities, and programs must -
- Increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of such groups as American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, and people with disabilities
- Eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in the curriculum, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.
- Foster the use of nondiscriminatory, nonracist, nonsexist and nonstereotypical language, resources, practices, and activities
- Eliminate institutional discrimination
- Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across the curriculum, particularly groups who have been underrepresented historically
- Identify how prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination have limited the roles and contributions of individuals and groups, and how these limitations have challenged and continue to challenge our society
- Eliminate subtle practices that favor the education of one student over another on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, physical disabilities, or sexual orientation
- Encourage all members of the educational community to examine assumptions and prejudices that might limit the opportunities and growth of students and education employees
- Offer positive and diverse role models in our society including the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of diverse education employees in our public schools.
- The Association encourages its affiliates to develop and implement training programs on these matters.
B-19. Educational Programs for Limited English Proficiency Students. The Association believes that LEP students should be placed in bilingual education programs to receive instruction in their native language from qualified teachers until such time as English proficiency is achieved. The Association values bilingual and multilingual competence and supports programs that assist individuals in attaining and maintaining proficiency in their native language before and after they acquire proficiency in English.
B-22. Educational Programs for Adolescent Parents. The Association recommends programs for these students that include -
- Development of self-esteem
- On-site child care services.
B-28. Multicultural Education. The National Education Association believes that the goal of multicultural education is the recognition of individual and group differences and similarities in order to reduce racism, ethnic prejudices, and discrimination and to develop self-esteem as well as respect for others.
B-29. Global Education. The National Education Association believes that global education increases respect for and awareness of the earth and its people. Global education imparts information about cultures and an appreciation of our interdependency in sharing the world's resources to meet mutual human needs.
B-31. Career Education. The career education concept must be interwoven into the total educational system and needs to include programs in gender-free career awareness. The Association believes that educational programs for all students should be developed that will enhance self-esteem.
B-35. Family Life Education. The Association believes that programs should be established for both students and parents and supported at all educational levels to promote -
- The development of self-esteem
- Education in human growth and development.
The Association believes that education in these areas must be presented as part of an anti-biased, culturally-sensitive program.
B-36. Sex Education. The Association recognizes that the public school must assume an increasingly important role in providing the instruction. Teachers and health professionals must be qualified to teach in this area and must be legally protected from censorship and lawsuits. The Association also believes that to facilitate the realization of human potential, it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information and knowledge about sexuality and encourages affiliates and members to support appropriately established sex education programs. Such programs should include information on sexual abstinence, birth control and family planning, diversity of culture, diversity of sexual orientation, parenting skills, prenatal care, sexually transmitted diseases, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment.
B-37. AIDS Education. The National Education Association believes that educational institutions should establish comprehensive acquired human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) and AIDS syndrome education programs as an integral part of the school curriculum.
B-39. Environmental Education. The Association urges the development and improvement of educational programs that will -
- Promote the concept of the interdependence of humanity and nature
- Develop an awareness of the effects of past, present, and future population growth patterns on world civilization, human survival, and the environment
- Promote an understanding of the necessity to protect endangered, threatened, and rare species
- Promote an understanding of the necessity to protect the earth's finite resources
- Promote the recognition of and participation in Earth Day activities.
The Association urges its affiliates to support environmental programs in its school systems.
B-55. Standardized Testing of Students. The Association opposes the use of standardized tests when -
- Used as the criterion for the reduction or withholding of any educational funding
- They inappropriately compare students, teachers, programs, schools, communities, and states.
B-61. Internet Access. The National Education Association believes that every classroom and school library/media center should have toll-free, seamless, and equal access to the Internet.
B-67. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When a home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state requirements. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used. The association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.
C-1. Health Care for All Children. The National Education Association believes that every child should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health care. The Association further believes that legislation should be adopted to provide comprehensive health care to all children.
C-7. Child Care. The National Education Association believes that all child care centers should be examined and monitored on a continuous basis, and additional legislation should be sought as necessary to maintain the highest quality child care. The Association encourages school districts and educational institutions to establish on-site child care for preschoolers, students, the children of students, and the children of staff members.
C-22. Comprehensive School Health Programs and Services. The National Education Association believes that every child should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services. The Association believes that programs in the schools should provide -
- A planned sequential, pre-K through 12 health education curriculum that integrates various health topics (such as drug abuse, violence, universal precautions, and HIV education).
The Association believes that services in the schools should include -
w Counseling programs that provide developmental guidance and broad-based interventions and referrals
- Comprehensive school-based, community-funded student health care clinics that provide basic health care services (which may include diagnosis and treatment)
- If deemed appropriate by local choice, family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods with instruction in their use.
C-23. School Counseling Programs. The National Education Association believes that guidance and counseling programs should be integrated into the entire education system.
C-31. Suicide Prevention Programs. The National Education Association believes that suicide prevention programs including prevention, intervention, and postvention must be developed and implemented. The Association urges its affiliates to ensure that these programs are an integral part of the school program.
D-19. Competency Testing and Evaluation. The National Education Association believes that competency testing must not be used as a condition of employment, license retention, evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of licensed teachers.
E-9. Academic and Professional Freedom. The National Education Association believes that academic freedom is essential to the teaching profession. Academic freedom includes the rights of teachers and learners to explore and discuss divergent points of view. The Association further believes that legislation and regulations that mandate or permit the teaching of religious doctrines and/or groups that promote antipublic education agendas violate both student and teacher rights. The Association urges its affiliates to seek repeal of these mandates where they exist.
F-1. Nondiscriminatory Personnel Policies/Affirmative Action. The National Education Association believes that personnel policies and practices must guarantee that no person be employed, retained, paid, dismissed, suspended, demoted, transferred, or retired because of race, color, national origin, cultural diversity, accent, religious beliefs, residence, physical disability, political activities, professional association activity, age, size, marital status, family relationship, gender, or sexual orientation. Affirmative action plans and procedures that will encourage active recruitment and employment of women, minorities, and men in underrepresented education categories should be developed and implemented. It may be necessary, therefore, to give preference to men in recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion policies to overcome past discrimination.
F-2. Pay Equity/Comparable Worth. The Association supports all efforts to attain accurate and unbiased forms of job evaluation and to raise the pay of those jobs that are presently undervalued. The "market value" means of establishing pay cannot be the final determinant of pay scales since it too frequently reflects the race and sex bias in our society.
F-35. Employees with HIV/AIDS. The National Education Association believes that education employees shall not be fired, nonrenewed, suspended (with or without pay), transferred, or subjected to any other adverse employment action solely because they have tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) antibody or have been diagnosed as having HIV/AIDS.
H-1. The Education Employee as a Citizen. The Association believes that it is the duty and responsibility of education employees to involve themselves in the selection, election, and reelection of qualified, committed candidates who support goals that will provide quality education. Therefore, the Association urges its members to become politically involved and to support the political action committees of the Association and its affiliates.
H-6. National Health Care Policy. The Association supports the adoption of a single-payer health care plan for all residents of the United States, its territories, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Association will support health care reform measures that move the United States closer to this goal.
H-10. D.C. Statehood. The Association supports efforts to achieve statehood for the District of Columbia.
I-3. International Court of Justice. The National Education Association recognizes that the International Court of Justice is one instrument to resolve international disputes peacefully. The Association urges participation by the United States in deliberations before the court.
I-10. Human Rights. The Association condemns the practice of capital punishment and believes that the alternative, life imprisonment without parole, better protects the basic human rights of all.
I-13. Family Planning. The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association further urges the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.
I-18. Immigration. The Association opposes any immigration policy that denies human and/or civil rights or educational opportunities to immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration status.
I-22. Freedom of Creative Expression. The Association supports the freedom of publicly funded agencies to exercise judgment in the awarding of grants to individuals and organizations.
I-25. Human Relations in the School. The Association calls for school recruitment and staffing policies that will ensure culturally diverse school employees [and] appropriate classroom and other student-related activities.
I-27. Freedom of Religion. The Association opposes any federal legislation or mandate that would require school districts to schedule a moment of silence. The Association particularly opposes a moment of silence as a condition for receiving federal funds.
I-29. Gun-free Schools and the Regulation of Deadly Weapons. The Association believes that strict proscriptive regulations are necessary for the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale and resale of handguns and ammunition magazines.
I-46. English as the Official Language. The Association believes that efforts to legislate English as the official language disregard cultural pluralism; deprive those in need of education, social services, and employment; and must be challenged.
I-48. Sexual Harassment. The National Education Association believes that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination or abuse. The Association encourages the establishment of strong policies defining and prohibiting sexual harassment, and the formation and training of staff/student support groups to assist in the counseling of victims of alleged sexual harassment.
I-49. Equal Opportunity for Women. The Association supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (such as the Equal Rights Amendment). The Association urges its affiliates to support ratification of such an amendment. Personnel policies must include family leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, leave for adoption of a child, child-care leave, and professional leave. The Association believes that sexism and sex discrimination must be eliminated and endorses the use of nonsexist language.
The above text is excerpted from the 1998 NEA Convention resolutions. Words have been deleted but not changed.