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Timeline of the NEA Part 4

1968

Elizabeth Duncan Koontz becomes the first
African-American president of NEA.
NEA creates the National Foundation for the
Improvement of Education. In its first ten years
of operation, it will attract $3.5 million in grants
to support educational research.
After three years of NEA lobbying, Congress
passes the Bilingual Education Act.

1972

NEA forms NEA-PAC, a political action committee
which allows the NEA to influence the national
legislative agenda, shape electoral platforms, and lend
support to candidates with positions favorable
to public education. Funded by member contributions,
it will become one of the nation’s largest and most
influential PACs.

1974

NEA wins US Supreme Court case striking down
mandatory maternity leave for pregnant teachers.

1979First Lady Rosalyn Carter with Bernie Freitag, Terry Herndon and Willard McGuire celebrating the creation of the Department of Education

Following years of intense lobbying efforts, the
United States Department of Education is elevated
to full cabinet status.

1980

Educational Support Personnel are voted full
membership rights.

1983

After years of intense NEA lobbying, the birthday of
Martin Luther King, Jr., becomes a federal holiday.

1985

NEA embraces the Nine Principles of Education as
part of the “Action Plan for Educational Excellence.”

1986

NEA member Christa McAuliffe loses her life in
the explosion of space shuttle Challenger.

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