Hillary Clinton assures educators they will have a ‘seat at the table’

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by Félix Pérez

Hillary Clinton will consult educators when making decisions about education and is committed to making sure every child receives a world-class education, no matter what ZIP code they live in, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president told the more than 7,500 energized educators gathered in the nation’s capital. Clinton’s pledge, part of remarks she delivered this morning, was met with resounding approval.

“I want to say, right from the outset, that I’m with you. And if I’m fortunate enough to be elected president, educators will have a partner in the White House – and you’ll always have a seat at the table,” said the former U.S. Secretary of State.

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For more than 30 minutes, the educators stood as Clinton laid out her vision for public education and the heightened role of educators.

“Just like you, I get up every day and ask: How can we do better for America’s kids?

“I’m committed to making sure every child in this country receives a world-class education, with good schools and good teachers, no matter what ZIP code they live in. That means supporting parents to be their child’s first teachers, expanding access to high-quality childcare and universal preschool. Repairing our crumbling schools, and investing in training and support for our educators,” she said.

educators for Hillary RA 2The educators punctuated Clinton’s fiery remarks several times with applause, chants of Hil-la-ry and the insistent thump-thump-thump of thunder sticks. Her remarks were delivered at the National Education’s 95th Representative Assembly, attended by active and retired teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and pre-K instructors.

The educators were transparent in their approval of Clinton’s remarks and her candidacy. Six hours after her remarks, they voted to recommend Clinton for the general election by a margin of 84 percent to 16 percent.

Clinton recognized the societal burden placed on educators and the need for community- and educator-led solutions to address the obstacles faced by many students.

“So much of what happens inside your classrooms is determined by what happens outside your classrooms.

“Too many of our public school students are living in poverty. That’s on all of us. You see students coming to school hungry, or exhausted from a long night at a shelter. So many kids have the weight of the world on their little shoulders.

“We need to tackle all the problems holding our kids back – and we need to do it together, as one American community. Let’s create more community schools – and more partnerships between schools, social services and non-profit organizations to offer a range of support and opportunities for kids.

Clinton also referenced the increasing demands on educators.

America is asking more of our educators than ever before. You’re preparing our kids for a competitive economy and staying on top of new technologies and theories. We look to you to fill in gaps that we as a country have neglected – like giving low-income kids, English-language learners, and kids with disabilities the support they need to thrive. And we ask you to help right wrongs – from poverty and homelessness to the legacy of racial inequities stretching back centuries. We ask so much of you – and we don’t give you enough in return.

“As president, I’ll launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching.”

Clinton spoke about the low salary of educators.

educators for Hillary RA“No educator should have to take second and third jobs just to get by. And the last thing a teacher needs when you’re just starting out is a mountain of student debt. I want everyone to be able to refinance your student loans, so you never have to pay more than you can afford. For people who go into public service – including teaching – any remaining debt will be forgiven after 10 years.”

The former First Lady of the United States and U.S. Senator was also critical of the low pay of education support professionals.

“It’s an outrage that so many of the food service staff, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and education support professionals who keep our schools running and our children learning struggle to provide for their own families.”

Clinton praised the role of unions in uplifting students and families. She denounced attacks by far right governors and state lawmakers against teacher-led unions.

Unions helped create the strongest middle class in the history of the world. You’re not just fighting for your members. You’re fighting for your students, and families across the country.

“I want anyone who has faced a hostile state legislature, a union-busting governor, or both, to know that help is on the way. I’ll fight back against the attacks, and stand up for your right to organize and bargain collectively.”

Clinton underscored her desire to work with educators in finding solutions to the challenges confronting students and public schools.

“These things can only be done with you, in partnership.

“So I’m asking you – and educators across the country – to work with me. Advise me, hold me accountable.”

Reader Comments

  1. There are too many problems in education. Too many to tackle in a comment box. Below, is only a FRACTION of my story which needs to be heard and dealt with for the future of our children. I could speak for hours about all issues, but no one would want to listen that long.

    1. STRESS: I just resigned after 15 years of teaching primary level. (No more TINY paycheck is a doozy!) My heart is still in it (of course) but the STRESS level came to a point that was so damaging to my health and my family time, that I HAD to choose to take care of myself and my kids, over teaching. Other teachers at my school had ulcers, severe stomach issues, and other medical issues DUE TO STRESS! They keep returning to the classroom every day for the kids. Unfortunately, my body said “Enough is Enough” after 15 years of fighting with it. Why should I have to make that choice?

    2. USING OUR OWN TIME: For YEARS I have been disgusted with the people at “the top” who make stupid decisions and constant changes (requiring extra time from teachers, of course; not from themselves!) Every year we are told to teach a different program, teach a different way, use a new computer program, yet we aren’t trained enough! 2 days of inservice doesn’t teach us everything we need to know, so we are basically being told, “Take the info we have time to give you, and figure out the rest by yourself, on your own time. Good luck!” Or for new grading/testing software, it’s “Here’s an hour staff meeting and a hand-out to teach you how to use this program.” SERIOUSLY?! Each new program requires hours of time just to set them up/organize or to learn them well enough to use them! That time is all UNPAID TIME. Time from our own families. Time from our own self-care. What choice do we have than to suck it up and try our best?

    3. NO VOICE: Teachers who are directly interacting with the students should have more say in what is “for the best interest” of our students. District policy should NOT determine whether a child gets promoted to the next grade level. Teachers who have worked with a child for 10 months, should determine what’s best for our students. Not a policy. The superintendent & board of directors have NO CLUE what we face. They base huge decisions on THEORY, not REALITY!

    Example: My last year of teaching, I didn’t do what was best for a child because it was out of my control. I HAD TO promote a child due to “district policy”, even though he couldn’t read well enough to comprehend, at the end of 2nd grade. He was still decoding at a first grade level. The parents and I ALL wanted to retain this child for his best interest, yet the administrator had pressure from the district to promote, promote, promote! That one decision haunts me all the time because I know it WASN’T best for that sweet little kid, and that promoting him was forcing him to deal with more struggles the following year. (Needless to say, this was one factor that led me to quit.)

    4. A BROKEN SYSTEM FOR THOSE WHO LEARN DIFFERENTLY: Too many kids “fall between the cracks”. Some kids with learning disabilities/ADHD don’t get diagnosed because they are tested in a one-on-one setting, which is COMPLETELY different from being in a classroom environment. They find out that they don’t “meet the requirements” for getting extra help. They don’t score low enough (the bottom 7%ile) to qualify for services, yet they SHOULD qualify for extra help based on the fact that they can’t keep up in class or that their brains need more time to process information/need to see things DIFFERENTLY than the way they’re taught in a classroom environment.

    I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THEM. I STRUGGLED FOR OVER 14 YEARS before finding out I had a learning disability. I wouldn’t wish my struggles on my worst enemy! (Well, maybe Trump. 😉 I was one of those kids who FELL THROUGH THE CRACKS of a broken education system, and it has only gotten worse since then.

    Aren’t we in the business of teaching FOR THE KIDS? Shouldn’t we get to decide what’s necessary for each student? What kind of broken system is this?! And how much longer must we continue to harm our kids’ futures?

    I would LOVE to be an advocate for those who struggle just like I did, and for those teachers who are just “hanging in there” because they need that tiny paycheck. But now that I’m no longer a teacher, I’m no longer a part of the CTA/NEA. I no longer have a voice to speak up for these kids/teachers, (what little voice I had for 15 years). But SOMEBODY needs to speak up and fight for some MASSIVE changes in our broken system, because we are FAILING at our job when we let the “other people” control OUR KIDS.

    As a side note, I am now having trouble finding a new job/career because I’ve been stuck in the bubble of the education system for so long. Technology has advanced quite a bit over the years, yet we (teachers) haven’t been taught enough to keep up to date with the rest of the world.

    HILLARY, PLEASE FIX THESE ISSUES FOR THE SAKE OF OUR KIDS’ FUTURES! Thank you for being on our side.

  2. I have worked as a special education teacher for 29 years and I enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton to win this election and become our first woman president of the United States. Hillary has tremendous experience and a depth of wisdom from her many years of public service. Hillary has always supported our families, our children. I have followed Hillary’s career and have always been inspired by her commitment in supporting women’s rights and families, here in the United States and abroad. Her service record from after college, all the way to her role as First Lady, as Senator and as Secretary of State are filled with examples of dedication to serving all sectors of this country.

    We need a president who leads by example and demonstrates how to solve the tough problems our country is facing with RESPECT for all people and groups—all lives matter. Our children, our teenagers, our young adults need positive role models, positive talk, positive leadership. There are so many irrefutable, significant accomplishments Hillary has made. It’s time to hear about them from those who know her and support her. It’s time to recognize and “shout out” the great qualities Hillary has cultivated during her life in public office– her constancy, courage, strategic & responsible decision making, clarity, discipline, organization, commitment to service with integrity, and so much more. Please join me in acknowledging Hillary’s exceptional strength, leadership and expertise as the future president of the United States.

  3. I am a teacher of 30+ years. I believe in Hillary. I will vote for her. She’s got my back and yours too. She will be the next president. Stop the name calling and the thrashing as she deserves better and she deserves respect.

    1. Ya’ really think Hillary is going to worry about the average schmuck in the USA? She didn’t give a flying hoot about her people in the state department as they were killed. As she said, what does it matter? And you think she is going to worry about public school teachers who don’t make enough money to support the illegal activities of the Clinton foundation? Wake up.

  4. Hillary has blood on her hands with the debacle in Benghazi. Please open your eyes and ears. You will vote for a criminal. Research the data before voting. Your educated and knowledgeable. Prove it now!

    1. I saw a bumper sticker before the last election that said, last time you voted to prove you not bigoted, this time vote to prove you are not stupid. I guess a contemporary bumper sticker could extend the idea and say: last time you voted (the way you did) because you were confused, this time, vote in a way that proves you are not stupid and believe in American ideals.

  5. SHE is ‘at the top.’ Do you really think she’s going to do anything to change HER position in order to improve yours?! The old playground taunt comes to mind every time she opens her mouth…………liar, liar, pants on fire!

  6. God help this country if Hillabeast ever gets elected. She is a well connected criminal who will say, do, plot, scheme anything so long as it enriches her and philandering Billie Bumpkin. I hear she is working on a Viagra endorsement deal for Mr Sleaze. How would you like your 20 year old daughter interning for the Clintons. America, wake up before its too late.

    1. When you hire a lawyer, do you expect a priest? Hillary is a politician and by definition will promise and say things that are not true. If you think ANY republican is different, you are delusional. If you think Trump is not a sleaze, does not lie, or is not in it for himself, you either haven’t been listening or are crazy. Personally, I would rather vote for someone who is “extremely careless” than extremely reckless!
      Don’t like your choices – get involved!

      1. Washington warned the young nation about political parties. He was, of course, quite right. Ike warned about the military -industrial complex and he was quite right. There needs to be term limits and a rapid turn over of politicians. There can no longer allowed to be career politicians, it breed what we now have. Binomial choices for leaders, does not work. Term limits are needed at every elected level. We need a constitutional amendment soon.

  7. You NEA lemmings just love everything this lying hag says. There’s no critical research. Just drink the KoolAid. What public school did she send Chelsea to? Hmmm? Do you think Sidwell teachers are unionized? Clinton is in bed with Wall Street and they couldn’t care less about public schools – their kids all go to swanky private schools. Where did Obama get you? Nowhere. TRUMP 2016

    1. It is an embarrassment for any organization to tell its members for whom to vote. Are you not smart enough to chose for yourself? Any group who says you ought to vote for so-and-so by virtue of an endorsement is really saying, you folks are too dumb to pick for your selves so we ( the leadership who is really smart) will tell you what to do. There are a few more issues than education involved in the world. Hillary is a criminal and does not give a flying turd about teachers or anyone else who is not rich and cannot support her ever increasing desire for extravagance and power.

  8. I don’t believe what Hillary says and I wish the Union would not support her, based on what she says. Look at Benghazi . the Clinton nonprofit organization, and Hillary’s handling of sensitive information. What is a “seat at the table” worth when the head of the table can’t be trusted.

  9. When government is run as a business its citizens become labor units. Capitalism will only invest enough to make a profit. In todays “TAKING” instead of making economy investing is at an all time low. You do not need highly qualified labor units to take their stuff, homes, retirement, education for their children, safety, food sources, and water. In fact just the opposite.

  10. She supports publicly-funded private charter schools, and was booed loudly for saying so. She paid lip service to the national union leadership and will continue Pres Obama’s disastrous ed policies. We need a real national union that isn’t owned by the DNC.

  11. Hillary Clinton knows how to cut through the ‘crap’ and get to the meat of the education issues. So tired of the ‘restructuring and improvements’ of our education by the bureaucrats! It’s time to ask teachers and parents what they need. Administration even has not had our backs in the classroom. I appreciate the words I’m hearing — and I’m not surprised. Stakeholders at the local level want control back of the schools. Please give us back the ability to decide what our communities want and need for out students. Big Brother has only held us back and wasted years of our students’ formative years with too much testing and red tape. Let us teach.

  12. Please!!!We need to back our public schools and teachers. I’m a retired teacher. Scott Walker took everything good that I sacrificed for 34 years & just flushed it down the toilet!! WI is in terrible shape & sinking fast!! My daughter who is an excellent teacher of 9 years is not sure she will continue. Their job is to teach…not add all the extra horse s*** to their day. Pay & benefits went out the window when they were forced to limit the union. HELP!!! Are you listening???

    1. Haha…. the Hil-Liar-y will say anything to get votes, while she is planning enrichment programs for her corporate sponsors. Yeah…. “you’ll have a seat at the table,” as your cheaper replacements take your job at the new for-profit grade school.

      Vote carefully. Sanders does what he says. The other one just talks to sound good.

        1. Hillary’s lust for power will ensure a Trump Presidency. Bernie is much stronger as a candidate than Hillary in defeating Trump AND has the policies (that Hillary’s minions keep trying to strip from the platform) that Americans want. Hillary and the DNC stole the primary and the media aided in the coronation.

          AND before you start with the platitudes that the primary wasn’t rigged, just let me say I personally know people in NYC who weren’t able to vote because they were mysteriously not on the roles.

        2. Wrong, it will be proved that the DNC stole votes for Clinton and the convention hasn’t happened yet. Wait and see.

      1. Hillary has always been their for the children it has shown of the years. Yes vote carefully Trump will have them in military uniforms saluting him and his picture and probably making each child chant what he will call My prayer for the children

    2. Do you know about the Kline-Miller Pension Reform Act that Obama signed in January 2015? Of course not, because there never was an opening hearing in Congress because it was rushed onto Budget bill late in the night December 2014.
      Treasury department just called for open hearing on it by August Sept 2016. This is something Clinton dies not c want b to get out to rank and file. Wall street has made a bingle with their sponsorship of this act. Did you also know that union rank a n d file support democratic party to the tune of 38% of dems campaign funds? Time for dems to leave wall street and support the rank and file. Time for NEA to put leadership’s feet to the fire. They have let us down a b d have been hoodwinked into thinking they will have seat at the table. Enjoy your crumbs at the feast of wall street greed.

      1. “Clinton dies not c want b to get out of to rank and file??? What does this mean? I am having trouble interpreting what you mean by this. Clarification, please.

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