By Amanda Menas
As we start a new decade, educators are hopeful and energized, ready to work hard for the future of their students, schools, and communities. Last year, educators made dreams a reality by rallying for investment in public schools and showing up on election day. They advocated for higher salaries and better funding for their school programs.
NEA loves to hear from our members. When we asked on Facebook what they want in 2020, educators across the country expressed many common goals, such as electing a new president or getting rid of Betsy DeVos. But they also shared hopes specific to their local communities and the kids they see in their classrooms every day.
All educators want for 2020 is…
“Educators, students, and their families can only reach their full potential if they have the necessary medical care. This includes parity for mental health services. The only way to achieve this is by implementing Medicare for All. For almost all educators this will actually save money.” — Jim B., California
“100% BLACK TEACHERS IN BLACK SCHOOLS.” — Marshata C., Illinois
“In 2020 I want to see IDEA funded by the federal government by 40% instead of the current 14%” — Colleen B.
“Librarians in every school.” — Sara R., Massachusetts.
“I’d like to see school districts be able to fund the ASCA recommended ratio of 250 students to 1 school counselor K-12.” — Senunit S. M., California
“I would like something done with student loans. I don’t make enough to pay extra and the interest is killing me.” — Tanya H.
“My hopes are that we make enough progress to return all my red clothing to its natural place in the work clothes rotation and give the other colors a chance at Wednesdays.” — Michael D., New Jersey
“A lot of our schools don’t even have libraries. It’s so sad, and they wonder why nationwide reading test scores are low.” — Yolanda R., Nevada
“Fully fund every school district!” — Rami R., Colorado
“Appropriate funding, classroom support, professional respect and autonomy, less mandates, professional trust, student mental health support, developmentally appropriate curriculum for all.” — Donna C.G., Massachusetts
“I’d like a full-time nurse and access to mental health services for my students.” — Vanessa A., Oklahoma
“Continue our work to End The Stigma of Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder. Continue to Teach other paras in my state of New Hampshire how to be Trauma Responsive.” — Shannon F.
“Respect. Fair pay. Fair workload. Smaller class sizes. Less focus on test scores (SAT should not be part of the school report card) And government that supports education through adequate funding. Our children are being left behind.” — Jennifer H.
“More autonomy, less packaged curriculum. More equity, less misunderstanding of what equity is and isn’t. More value put on planning time, less value put on meetings. More actual deep-level change, less bandaids that look good but have little positive impact. More teachers, fewer administrators. More teacher-led initiatives, less top-down mandating. And some chocolate.” — Carol G.B.
“I’d like state testing to disappear!” — Laura C.
“I would love for Alaska to return to a defined benefit retirement so I don’t have to keep watching great educators leave the state.” — Corey S.
“Mental Health services available for all students, Indigenous culture and history added to the curriculum, and Civics to come back as a requirement to graduate.” — Ryan S.
“Politicians who really support and understand what it takes to provide the best education system in the world!” — Andy W., Utah
“Smaller class sizes!” — Rachel F.
“School systems that openly support LGBTQ students and teachers.” — Sean P., Maryland
“More educator voice heard in working and learning conditions. Candidates that value and fund public education from Pre-K to Higher Education.” — Jonathan E., Kansas
“I’d like to see professional development geared toward my content for once. Heading into year 3 and I’m tired of being excluded. FACS counts!” — Aubrey G., Texas