By Kevin Bogardus - 09/28/11 04:49 PM EDT
The National Education Association (NEA) launched a multistate television ad campaign Wednesday in support of President Obama's American Jobs Act.
The 30-second television ad urges lawmakers to vote for the legislation, with several children saying school programs are being cut and teachers are being laid off. The president's proposal includes $30 billion to pay for teachers and another $30 billion to modernize schools.
NEA is the nation's largest union, with 3.2 million members made up of teachers and other education staff.
"The American Jobs Act is a win-win for the American people," NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement. "Congress can choose to put students ahead of political gridlock by supporting a bill that puts Americans back to work, modernizes our schools, and puts educators in classrooms instead of on the unemployment lines."
The ad will air in Washington, D.C., and five states: Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. A spokesman for the union estimated the ad buy would cost roughly $350,000.
The NEA estimates that the bill could put 280,000 educators back to work and modernize 35,000 public schools.
This story was updated at 1:50 p.m.