Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Dear Fellow Educator,

We are writing today to ask you to join with us (and fellow educators all across New Hampshire) in supporting Senator John Edwards for President.

John Edwards has a firsthand commitment to improving education that is unparalleled by anyone else in this race, and a real, detailed plan to guarantee a quality education for every child in the country.

Already, dozens of educators all across New Hampshire have gathered together in person, on the phone, and online to support Senator John Edwards and make sure that he replaces the current administration that has given educators slogans instead of solutions.

Today, we are asking you to join in that effort.

Your participation in electing a leader with a genuine, firsthand commitment to education will make a real difference in the future of our country. And your support of a candidate who offers hope, not anger, means that we will compete with George W. Bush in every part of this country and take back the White House in November.

If you are still deciding between the candidates, please take a look at Senator Edwards' ambitious plan for improving education, which we have included below.

To join us in this effort or to receive more information, just respond to this email with your name, school, and phone & email address. Thank you for your time.


Educators For Edwards Steering Committee

Alan Gross   Cheshire County     Symonds School, Swanzey School Board
Lori Gordon   Concord      Concord High School
Patsy Moore    Lakes Region     Fmr. College Professor, Gilford
Alfred Marcouillier    NEA Govt Relations     Manchester Webster Elementary
Patrick McKeown    Manchester     Manchester Central HS
Maryanne Melizzi-Golja    Nashua     Nashua School Board
Jack Ford    Seacoast    Winnacunnet High School
Neal Ochs     Southern Tier    Derry School Board Member
Frank and Dot Callaghan    Strafford County     Rochester School Board and teacher
Robert Bridgham    North Country    Fmr. College Professor, Eaton
Deb Nelson    Upper Valley     Lebanon High School

A proud product of North Carolina public schools (and the first in his family to attend college), Senator John Edwards has proposed a detailed plan for guaranteeing that every child in the country has access to a quality public school education. Here is an outline.

Invest in Teachers

A New Deal for Teachers. Teachers are the heroes of our public education system, yet they earn too little and get too little respect from school systems. As President, I will double the $3 billion that the federal government invests in teaching today. These resources will allow states to pay teachers better, particularly where they are needed most, and offer more training and support for teachers and educational support professionals.

Offer Scholarships to Future Teachers. I will launch a nationwide program that will pay college tuition for thousands of students who make a five-year commitment to teach somewhere top-flight teachers are in short supply.

Fix and Fund "No Child Left Behind," Special Education

Make Washington Fulfill its Responsibilities. While President Bush talks about "no child left behind," his budget has left millions of children behind. Washington needs to fulfill its responsibilities to our schools-especially special education and the No Child Left Behind law. Funding these programs will relieve pressure from New Hampshire's education funding crisis, give local schools more resources, and help reduce state and local property taxes.

Fix "No Child Left Behind." President Bush has made a mockery of the words "No Child Left Behind," cutting funding by $1 billion and supporting private school vouchers that undermine our public schools. I supported No Child Left Behind and believe in high standards and accountability for our schools. That is why I believe we need to fund the act and, based on two years experience, make changes to give our schools the support they deserve. We must revise the measure of success to focus attention on truly failing schools, and ensure that states have the flexibility to take the best possible steps for those schools. And we must update the definition of a "highly qualified" teacher to make sense for teachers in specialized areas like special education. Most importantly, we need to listen to teachers and communities-I'll convene a commission of teachers to recommend other changes in this law.

Afterschool, Early Education, and High Schools Afterschool.

Children with nowhere to go are more likely to find trouble or be victims of crime. For these children, afterschool programs provide a safe, nourishing place. And yet, President Bush's budget eliminates afterschool for 500,000 children. My wife and I established two afterschool programs in our own hometown, and as President, I will create high-quality afterschool centers for millions of children, including opportunities at or near every school.

Early Education. Ninety percent of a child's brain development happens in the first five years of life. The government can't and shouldn't raise children, but it can help parents give their children a boost with quality early education. My Great Promise initiative will offer high-quality preschool opportunities to prepare 1 million children for school. And I will strengthen Head Start and strongly oppose efforts to weaken this great success.

Create Smaller High Schools. Schools should be places where the adults know if kids have a special talent or are on the edge of trouble. I will help districts where schools have become too big to build new schools, break up existing schools, or renovate and reopen old schools. I will also improve our high schools by strengthening curriculum and involving colleges and universities.

College for Everyone

Create "College for Everyone." Too many students are choosing not to go to college for one simple reason: it's too expensive. My plan provides free tuition to public universities and community colleges for the first year of school for students ready for college and willing to work 10 hours a week. I worked my way through school, and I know the work didn't hurt me a bit-it helped me take my education seriously.