CHICAGO (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says the "new Republican party" fundamentally doesn't believe in public education the way Democrats do.
The Democrat spoke Sunday before thousands of educators at the National Education Association's annual convention in Chicago. The association bills itself as the largest labor union nationwide.
The speech came a day before the union's vote on whether to endorse President Barack Obama's reelection campaign.
Biden says Republicans in states like Wisconsin and Ohio would once have negotiated better with teachers and labor unions. But he says there's now an organized effort to place blame for budget shortfalls on their shoulders.
Biden's speech largely praised teachers, but he drew applause when he briefly acknowledged there's widespread unhappiness among them for the Obama administration's education policies.