National Press Club

NEA president plans critique of Trump-DeVos agenda, Sept. 8

August 31, 2017 | By Mark Schoeff |

Lily Eskelsen Garcia

Lily Eskelsen Garcia

Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, plans to speak on what the Trump education agenda means for students and public schools at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 8

Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., with remarks beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for Club members, who may purchase up to two tickets at this rate, and $39 for all other non-member tickets. Please click here to purchase tickets. For questions, please email or call (202) 662–7501. Tickets must be paid for at the time of purchase.

The NEA is the nation’s represents three million teachers and school employees who work in K-12 schools and higher education at U.S. public colleges and universities.

With the nation’s more than 50 million public-school students heading back to school, Eskelsen García’s appearance comes at a time when the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Betsy DeVos, is seeking to expand efforts to privatize public education and roll back student protections. Eskelsen García plans to offer not only a critique of the current administration, but a clarion call to protect and defend all students’ right to a public education.

Eskelsen García, the first Latina elected to lead the NEA, started her career in education as a “school lunch lady” and was encouraged by a teacher to go to college and become a teacher herself. After just nine years in the classroom, she was named the Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989. In addition to her background in education, Eskelsen García also has political experience. In 1998, she became the first Hispanic to run for Congress in Utah. Although she lost the election, Eskelsen García jokes that she won the “silver” by capturing an impressive 45 percent of the vote as a Democrat in the conservative state.

Club members who wish to attend the pre-luncheon reception must RSVP separately to 48 hours before the event. Space may be limited. You must have a paid reservation to the luncheon to attend the VIP reception.

To submit a question in advance, put GARCIA in the subject line and email to before 10 a.m. on the day of the luncheon.