Education News

House Members Speak Up for Educators

by Brian Washington

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling upon their colleagues in the U.S. Senate to approve legislation to prevent hundreds of thousands of layoffs that will negatively impact students nationwide.

Several members of the House, including Reps. Bobby Etheridge (NC) and Dina Titus (NV) took to the floor to describe how educators played a key role in their personal and professional development.  Their comments coincided with National Teacher Appreciation Week, which is from May 3-7.  You can see Bobby Etheridge’s floor testimony by clicking here, and watch the testimony from Dina Titus below.

Etheridge, a former NC Superintendent of Public Schools, spoke about a teacher in Johnston County, NC.  She’s worried that cuts to education funding will shortchange students.

‘We must pass legislation to support our states and efforts to keep highly-qualified teachers in our classrooms,’ said Etheridge.  ‘I urge my colleagues to join me in thanking teachers today, and working to support funding for teachers who will shape our nation’s future.  Last year, the House passed the Jobs for Main Street Act, which invests in our students and teachers.  I call on the Senate to follow suit and support our children and our nation’s future.’

During her time on the floor, Rep. Titus called educators the ‘heroes’ who positively affect so many lives.

‘We must support teachers during these tough economic times by investing in education,’ said Titus.  ‘With hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country facing potential pink slips because of budget crises at the local and state (levels), I urge my colleagues in both houses to work quickly to support education by saving vital teaching jobs throughout the country.’

The Jobs for Main Street Act contains $23 billion dollars to stem the tide on education cuts and layoffs expected nationwide.  The number of layoffs could go as high as 300,000 and lead to negative consequences for students including larger class sizes and the elimination of art and music.

Legislation similar to the bill approved in the House is awaiting approval in the Senate.  The Keep Our Educators Working Act (S. 3206) is sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and currently has 26 co-sponsors.

TAKE ACTION: To urge your U.S. Senators to support and pass the Keep Our Educators Working Act click here.

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