CHICAGO (WBBM) — The nation’s largest union – the National Education Association, meeting here in Chicago – has endorsed President Obama for re-election.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports, the vote was 72 percent in favor of endorsing Obama for re-election and almost 28 percent against it.

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LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Never before has the NEA endorsed a candidate so early in the election cycle. But labor leaders in this teachers’ union wanted to get things lined up for Obama.

They’ve run into some opposition from the rank and file, however.

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Vice President Biden spoke earlier to the NEA meeting at McCormick Place, talking about a “new” Republican Party that doesn’t see public education the way he said he – and teachers – do.

The teachers union has not always agreed with the Obama administration.

The Obama administration has been more in favor of charter schools than teachers’ unions – and Obama has supported getting rid of ineffective teachers more easily than unions would like.

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The NEA has never endorsed a Republican for president.