NEA Back-to-School Tour Focuses on Closing Opportunity Gaps

Middle school bus shots.NEA President Lily Eskelsen García hits the road to welcome students and members back to their classrooms and campuses this week as they begin the 2015-16 school year.

Joined by local and state education leaders, Eskelsen García begins her two-week back-to-school tour on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. The tour theme, “Opportunity for All: Unite, Inspire, Lead,” shines the spotlight on NEA’s work to unite, lead, and inspire solutions to close the opportunity gaps.”

“Opportunity is the cornerstone of public education,” says Eskelsen García. “We believe that every student, regardless of the ZIP code, deserves the opportunity to learn and grow through great public schools. Educating all our students is the best investment we can make in our future.”

During the two-week tour, Eskelsen García will be visiting schools in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Beaufort, Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina, Meridian and Jackson, Mississippi; and Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana.

In several of these cities, Eskelsen García will host town hall meeting with educators, education support professionals, community members, and state and local officials to talk about social justice reform, income inequality, school control or lack of adequate funding and other education issues.

“We still have a lot of work to do to ensure all of our students attend a great public school. But these conversations are a step in the right direction,” says Garcia. “Educators enter their schoolhouses every morning with one desire foremost in their minds: that every student they encounter that day will know an educator cares for them and is dedicated to teaching and inspiring them to reach their full potential.”

To follow the tour and access more resources and a comprehensive set of back-to-school, educator-tested tips and advice for educators and parents, visit