AEA formally endorses Mike Ross for governor

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -{}Dozens of teachers and parents gather on the steps of the capital announcing their endorsement for Mike Ross in his run for governor.

A crowd of teachers, parents and children came out{}Saturday with posters and other signs showing their support for Ross.

The Arkansas Education Association announced its formal endorsement after interviewing both Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross. They asked the candidates questions about their vision for education in Arkansas as well as some of the challenges educators and students face. It was after those interviews that they decided to go with Ross. Ross in his speech talked about several things including the fact that both of his parents were public school educators. But shortly after expressing his gratitude for this latest endorsement, he touched on issues that are hard to ignore.

"I think we need to expand Pre-k. No child in Arkansas should be on a waiting list to get in public pre-k and yet there's a lot of limitations on which students qualify," said Ross.

{}Asa Hutchinson sent KATV{}the following{}statement in response to his opponent's latest endorsement.

"This union endorsement is not a surprise simply because longtime Democratic Congressman Ross has always received the support of DC unions and their state affiliates.{} These are the unions that supported Obamacare, endorsed President Obama and supported Nancy Pelosi.{} Congressman Ross supports big national DC unions and those unions support Ross, as do their state affiliates. This is about Congressman Ross voting with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama in an attempt to take away the safety and security of a secret ballot by voting for Card Check. And this is just one example in a pattern of promoting their big union agenda.

I support our teachers in the classrooms across Arkansas, not left leaning groups that claim to speak for ALL teachers.{} My campaign has a great plan for education and I am proud to be working closely with great educators on our vision of better education for our students. As Governor, I will bring the opportunity for a world class education to all of our kids. Our teachers deserve our best and we expect to receive the support of a majority of teachers on election day."