Last updated on: 6/5/2017 | Author:

Lily Eskelsen García, MEd Biography

President of the National Education Association (NEA)
Pro to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"

“Due process policies such as tenure are an important job protection that teachers value highly. These policies don’t prevent bad teachers from being fired; they prevent good teachers from being fired for bad reasons. Qualified teachers earn these due process protections after satisfying performance expectations. These protections allow teachers to advocate for their students and to teach controversial and challenging curriculum without fear that they will be punished for doing so by overreaching administrators and others with arbitrary or personal agendas.

Striking down the statutes will not help our most at-risk students. High-poverty districts do not suffer from too few teachers being removed; they suffer from too much teacher turnover. Attracting and retaining effective teachers to these schools must be the highest priority.”

“NEA Seeks Reversal of Deeply-Flawed Vergara Decision,”, Feb. 24, 2016

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Vice President for North America and Caribbean Region, Educational International, 2015-present
  • President, National Education Association (NEA), 2014-present
  • Vice President, NEA, 2008-2014
  • Secretary-Treasurer, NEA, 2002-2008
  • Former Member, NEA Executive Committee
  • Member, President Bill Clinton’s White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education, 2000
  • Former Teacher, Christmas Box House Children’s Shelter
  • President, Utah Education Association, 1990-1999
  • Elementary School Teacher, Orchard Elementary School (West Valley City, UT), 1980-1990
  • Former school cafeteria worker
  • MEd, Instructional Technology, University of Utah, 1985
  • BS, magna cum laude, Elementary Education, University of Utah, 1980
  • Twitter handle: @Lily_NEA
  • First Latina to lead the NEA
  • Finalist for Hispanic Business Magazine‘s 2009 Woman of the Year
  • Lost campaign to serve in the US Congress in 1998
  • Named Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989
  • Born Lilia Laura Pace on May 1, 1955 in Fort Hood, Texas
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Teachers Get Tenure?