Too many hard-working Americans are struggling to make ends meet—especially those earning minimum wage. And those struggles are felt by the 21 million children who have at least one parent earning minimum wage.
These children face incredible challenges to their learning—how can a child who is hungry or homeless or scared about their family’s situation show up for school with energy and focus?
Parents forced to work overtime hours or multiple low-wage jobs can’t spend as much time engaged in their child’s education—visiting their schools, talking with their teachers, helping with homework and cheering their kids on at games and performances.
Many education support professionals, who tirelessly help care for all of our children, are among those scraping by on minimum wage.
Today’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour equals an annual salary of $15,080 for a full-time worker—far below the national poverty line of $23,550 for a family of four. It’s also worth 31% less than the minimum wage in 1968. If it had kept pace with inflation, the current minimum wage would be $10.50 per hour.
Hard-working families deserve fair compensation, and the Fair Minimum Wage Act—which would raise the federal minimum wage incrementally to $10.10 an hour—would lift 4.6 million people out of poverty.
By signing this pledge, I am urging Congress to raise the minimum wage so that:
- Students can come to class nourished, focused and ready to learn.
- Parents can spend more time supporting their children’s learning instead of working a second or third job.
- Education Support Professionals can earn a decent living for their hard work keeping the nation’s students safe and our schools functioning well.
No longer can we allow millions of families and staff members at our public schools suffer from the current minimum wage. The time to act is now!
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What We're Reading
- 03/12/2015 "In 23 states, richer school districts get more local funding than poorer districts" – Washington Post
- 03/13/2015 "For National Education Association leader, the answer is more funding, not testing" – The Statesman (Austin)
- 03/17/2015 "Tests Have Become a Substitute for Real Learning" – US News (by NEA Pres Lily Eskelsen Garcia)
- 03/18/2015 "‘Meckley resigns as recovery officer for York, PA schools" – York Daily Record
- 03/24/2015 "California charter schools vulnerable to fraud, report says" – Washington Post