Government

Cedar Rapids teacher, former ISEA president, endorses Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks April 30 at Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Biden is making his first
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks April 30 at Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Biden is making his first visit to Iowa after announcing his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Saying he has the ability to unite the nation and be a president “our children can look up to again,” a Cedar Rapids educator who led the state teachers union is endorsing Joe Biden.

In endorsing the former vice president for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Tammy Wawro, language arts teacher at Wilson Middle School in Cedar Rapids, cited his ambitious plan for education including debt-free community college, public service loan forgiveness, expanded Pell Grants, $50 billion for workforce training, and much more.

“Joe has a demonstrated ability to unite our country and bring civility back into the national discourse,” said Wawro, who was president of the Iowa State Education Association, which represents every educational professional in nearly every one of the state’s approximately 330 school districts, from 2012 to 2018. “As the spouse of an educator, Joe will treat teachers with the dignity they deserve, and he’ll nominate a secretary of education who has experience in the classroom.

“In this race, there’s no better champion for teachers and students than Joe — and I’ll be proud to be in his corner on caucus night,” Wawro said.

She also cited the advocacy on behalf of educators by Jill Biden, a lifelong educator and professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

“Instantly, Tammy and I bonded over work and our students — teaching is who we are, not what we do,” said Jill Biden, a lifelong educator and professor at Northern Virginia Community College. “We can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos.”

Wawro’s endorsement is seen as an asset to Biden because of her ties to key Democratic constituencies — labor and educators. She also has served as vice chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party’s labor caucus.

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Biden’s education plan calls for higher pay for teachers, investing in resources for schools so a ZIP code does not determine a child’s education and investing in children at birth.

For more on Biden, go here.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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