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Biden endorsed by nation's largest teachers unions, which backed COVID school closures

President Biden nabbed the endorsement of the two largest labor unions in the nation Wednesday, boosting his 2024 re-election campaign. 

The National Education Association (NEA), which represents more than 3 million public school teachers and personnel, is “enthusiastically” supporting Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for re-election. 

“President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are tireless advocates for public education, proving time and time again that this is the most pro-public education and pro-union administration in modern history,” NEA President Becky Pringle said in a statement.

The endorsement praised the Biden-Harris administration for increasing federal education spending, celebrated the president’s student-loan handout and applauded the bipartisan gun control legislation Biden signed into law. 

RANDI WEINGARTEN TO FACE GOP GRILLING ON COVID-19 SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS

Kamala Harris and Becky Pringle

Vice President Kamala Harris, right, waves with Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, at the National Education Association 2022 annual meeting and representative assembly in Chicago, July 5, 2022. (Tannen Maury/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden is also supported by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which is the second-largest teachers union in the country. AFT President Randi Weingarten said Tuesday that the Biden-Harris administration “has been the most pro-worker, pro-labor, pro-education administration we have ever seen.” 

“History will look back on Biden’s first term as a remarkable success, and at today’s announcement as a historic opportunity to continue delivering for the American people,” Weingarten said in a glowing endorsement. 

It is no shock that the AFT and NEA would endorse Biden. The groups supported his 2020 presidential campaign, and teachers unions have enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Biden administration since he assumed office.

Both unions have been criticized for working closely with the administration to keep schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Infamously, the NEA and AFT were discovered to have corresponded with the CDC in 2021 to make last-minute changes to school reopening guidance, which included a phased reopening approach for K-12 schools based on coronavirus cases in the area.

DEMS, UNION LEADERS RESPONSIBLE FOR SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS FACE FEW REPURCUSSIONS, DESPITE EVIDENCE THAT KIDS HARMED

US President Joe Biden puts on sunglasses at a news conference with Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korea's president, not pictured, in the Rose Garden of the White House during a state visit in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

President Biden was endorsed for re-election by the National Education Association on Wednesday, April, 26, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Communications obtained by the New York Post through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative group Americans for Public Trust showed numerous emails between top CDC officials and the AFT just days before the Biden administration released the school reopening guidelines in February 2021. The lobbying efforts were a reported success, as the Post found at least two instances when “suggestions” were used nearly word-for-word within the CDC’s guidelines.

WATCH: WEINGARTEN GRILLED ON LOCKDOWNS: 

Randi Weingarten grilled by GOP in contentious hearing over COVID-19 school lockdowns Video

Emails reviewed by Fox News Digital showed that the AFT and the NEA also received a copy of the guidance before the CDC released it to the public. 

Weingarten has downplayed the controversy as “normal rulemaking.”

The Biden campaign welcomed the NEA’s endorsement. 

BIDEN ADMIN KEEPS GIVING TEACHERS UNIONS POLITICAL VICTORIES

President Joe Biden speaks at the NEA

President Biden speaks during the National Education Association’s annual meeting and representative assembly event in Washington, D.C., on Friday, July 2, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“For so many Americans, President Biden included, the people who’ve made the biggest difference in their lives are teachers. President Biden is honored to have earned the trust of the National Education Association’s three million members,” campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz told The Hill in a statement. 

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“From investing in teacher pay, to expanding Registered Apprenticeship Programs to address the educator shortage, to defending the rights of students to learn in environments free of gun violence, the President has proven that he stands with America’s teachers and students,” he added.

Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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