In today's hyper-partisan political environment, it can be difficult to remember a time when Democrats and Republicans worked together to solve the nation's problems. Every parent wants a good education for their child, and providing a decent education should be one of the first concerns of our political leaders. It was not always so, however, and for many years the National Education Association had to fight for representation for education at the federal level. The advocacy culminated in an effort to create a cabinet level department devoted solely to education. Success finally came in 1979 when President Carter signed into law a new Department of Education; and it was done with bi-partisan support, including from young Congressman and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich. Attached below is a letter of support to "fellow Republicans" signed by nine GOP congressmen, including Mr. Gingrich, and a list of Senate co-sponsors of the bill from both parties.
The NEA collection here at Gelman Library includes many records documenting the decade of advocacy that preceded the creation of the Department of Education. Researchers interested in this topic or anything concerning the NEA collection should contact Vakil Smallen at email@example.com or 202-994-1371.
[Attachment: Dept of Education.pdf]