The National Education Association (NEA) Fund for Children and Public Education and the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today announced the endorsement of Jahana Hayes for Congress in the state’s fifth Congressional District.
“Jahana is a strong champion and advocate for Connecticut’s students, teachers, and working class,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “She has overcome numerous challenges and has taken every opportunity to improve her own life and the lives of others in her community, including her students. She is exactly the type of person we need fighting for all of us in Congress.”
Hayes, a former Waterbury educator, was named National Teacher of the Year in 2016, and spent a year traveling across the country, advocating on behalf of public education and listening to educators, administrators, community leaders, and others talk about issues that impact students, families, and communities.
“Jahana is a shining beacon of light for so many people living in poverty and struggling to get by,” said CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas. “It’s those experiences and hardships that will help her make decisions that will put people first when it comes to everything from healthcare to funding public education.”
“Jahana is an excellent example of the exceptional teachers who encourage their students to strive for their dreams and never give up, no matter what card they’ve been dealt. Now Jahana is taking her love of education and dedication to her students beyond the school house doors to the halls of Congress,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. “Educators like Jahana are running for office not only to speak up for the resources their schools and students need—you know, like textbooks published in the current century—but also to make our voices heard in the policy debates that affect our students and ensure our perspective is reflected on every issue.”
The Connecticut Education Association is Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union, representing active and retired educators across the state.