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First lady Jill Biden to kickoff Educators for Biden to mobilize teachers

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(WASHINGTON) — First lady Jill Biden, in Minnesota on Friday, will launch Educators for Biden-Harris — a national organizing program intended to engage and mobilize teachers, school staff and parents to vote for President Joe Biden, the Biden-Harris campaign shared exclusively with ABC News.

Kicking off the coalition in an evening speech to educators at the Education Minnesota Convention in Bloomington, the first lady, a classroom teacher for over 30 years, will brand her husband as “the education president.”

“You deserve a president who recognizes your service,” the first lady will say, according to excerpts from the Biden-Harris campaign. “Who understands that the work doesn’t end when the afternoon bell rings each day, who sees the early morning bus routes and piles of papers to grade, the care you give to every sick student and the extra granola bars you keep handy, because someone might come to school hungry… A president who matches your devotion with his own.”

“That person is my husband, Joe Biden. He knows what educators go through every day. He respects us. He empowers us. And he’s never going to stop fighting for us,” read excerpts from the first lady’s speech. “You saw that four years ago when you placed your faith in him, and he’s never taken it for granted.”

The first lady is expected to say the president delivered on his campaign promises from 2020, including “safely” reopening schools after COVID’s peak, expanding mental health access for students and passing the first major gun safety legislation in 30 years.

The campaign said to expect several Educators for Biden-Harris events over the next few days, beginning with events in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada,; Concord, New Hampshire,; and Lansing, Michigan. They add that plan to hit every battleground state over the next few weeks.

Jill Biden, who the campaign is dubbing “America’s First Teacher,” is the country’s first first lady to hold a paid job outside the White House, working as an English professor at Virginia Community College since 2009. She also worked full-time during her eight years as second lady in the Obama-Biden administration.

The campaign sees their Educators for Biden-Harris project as yet another opportunity for them to draw a contrast between Biden and former President Donald Trump, who has called for abolishing the Department of Education.

Teachers unions backing Biden amplify message

Presidents of the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (NFT) will join the first lady on Friday in Bloomington for her remarks at the Education Minnesota Convention. The two national teachers’ unions endorsed Biden last year.

Together, the groups have nearly five million combined members with local affiliates in all 50 states, the Biden-Harris campaign said, adding, “96% of NEA members and over 90% of AFT members voted in 2020.”

The campaign said it will build on its launch of Educators for Biden-Harris with digital and on-the-ground organizing efforts to directly engage educators and parents. And, working alongside AFT and NEA, the campaign will organize door-to-door canvassing, phone and text banks and back-to-school events, some of which have already begun.

For their part, NEA has created a candidate comparison tool in both English and Spanish which highlights policy differences between the presumptive party nominees, including how Trump proposed cutting federal funding for public education when in office and has proposed eliminating funding for loan forgiveness programs if re-elected.

The union has already launched a 10-question “Biden-Harris Public Education Quiz” which tests users on the Biden administration’s record “for supporting public education and unions,” touting achievements from expanding free school meals to 30 million students to approving more than $137 billion in student debt relief.

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