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Biden / Harris administration charts new course

It’s been less than a week since Joe Biden was sworn in as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, and big changes are in the works. Already, President Biden has issued over 25 executive orders to address the pandemic, reverse some of the Trump administration’s most damaging policies, and help reopen most K-8 school buildings within 100 days. In addition, he is urging Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and stimulus package that includes $130 billion in dedicated funding for schools, $350 billion in state and local aid, and $35 billion in emergency funds for colleges.

“No one wants to return to in-person learning more than the educators who have dedicated their lives to helping their students succeed, but reopening school buildings must be done safely and equitably,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “Educators are encouraged not only by President Biden’s leadership, but also by knowing that there is finally a true partner in the White House who will prioritize students by working with educators in the decision-making process.”

President Biden also issued an executive order that restores collective bargaining rights to federal employees, including those in Department of Defense schools represented by the Federal Education Association, an NEA affiliate. Other executive orders prioritize racial and gender equity, roll back the Muslim travel ban, and halt construction of the wall on our southern border. Biden also moved to extend the suspension of student loan payments and interest through Sept. 2021, the federal moratoria on evictions and foreclosures until at least the end of March, and announced that the United States is rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accords.

This year’s inaugural celebration looked very different from previous inaugurations due to the need for heightened security, social distancing, and face masks to contain the pandemic that has cost 400,000 Americans their lives — more than World War II. Televised festivities featured Hollywood stars and former presidents, but it was kindergarten teacher Mackenzie Adams who stole commentators’ hearts. More than 14 million people have viewed her TikTok video on remote teaching and learning.

35 responses to “Biden / Harris administration charts new course

  1. Soooooooo happy to have an administration back in power dedicated to education!!! It is great that Biden/Harris are aware of and explicitly discussing the need to address racial equality, white supremacy/nationalism and nativism. I hope Biden/Harris can act quickly on student debt, making community college free to all, and that they will explicitly support Ethnic Studies. I am hopeful with the Ed Sec nominee.

  2. In regards to the 1619 and 1776 projects; they are each being told from a different point of view. We want our students to learn to be critical thinkers.

  3. I’ve had to retire earlier than I’d planned due to Covid’s impact on the teaching profession. Now I’m facing the Windfall Elimination reduction of the Social Security benefits I paid into, legitimately, prior to becoming a teacher. This “provision” needs to be reviewed, especially for second career teachers whose retirement during the pandemic is being impacted.

    1. I absolutely agree! I live in Alaska. We ,Tier 3 employees, no longer have Social Security or anything like it for a security net. If the market tanks our retirement tanks.

    2. We need to eliminate the windfall provision. My relative will receive his military pension, corporate pension, and social security earnings and that’s not a windfall? Not all teachers worked as teachers for their entire professional life. Please look into this and change it. Thanks!!

    3. Agree. I live in GA and also impacted by this act. I worked as a classroom teacher and ICU nurse on weekends. I was an RN before teacher. This is absolutely wrong. If I would have done nothing I would be eligible for my full SS. We are being penalized for working instead of depending on the government programs, food stamps, etc. for assistance.

  4. I am thrilled that I can now teach truth in history that aligns will all historical research. Truth means facts, not politics.
    I am saddened, however, that Governors are still expecting us to teach on campus NOW, even though most of us do not yet qualify for a vaccine. Why isn’t Biden insisting that we have a right not to expose ourselves to this virus, even though parents have a right not to get a sick child tested and to send them back to school before a full quarantine (privacy laws)? We feel like we di not matter to you, Joe!

  5. I hope Paraprofessionals that have a degree will get pay grades starting at 40k annually , it’s hard out here for a paraprofessional we barely take home anything and we work just as hard as the classroom teachers!

  6. What about WEP GPO repeal? Let’s get them on that ASAP. Both said they support full repeal. I will hold them to their word.

  7. Why don’t you leave stuff alone until we can all review everything? You aren’t the one to change things, we the people are to do it not you or your Administration period.

  8. Is a raise in pay for teachers included in these recent sweeping changes? It was promise to us by both Biden and Kamala at the RA. I heard it with my own two ears.

  9. We don’t want to rush students coming back to school, unless it is safe for teachers and teachers are vaccinated.. schools need to count with all the protective equipment, including thermometers, ultraviolet air purifiers in each class plexiglass shield dividers and easy access to medical attention.

  10. I’m all for the funding in education and student loans along with the eviction delays but the rest of that is just showing America that you really don’t care about this country. The WHO is corrupt and why would we give our country’s money to the Paris climate accords? We also need to have secure boarders for our safety. Also, this failed to mention the Biden administration stopped the keystone pipeline, which caused over 10,000 jobs and will have a negative domino effect and will impact the economy in a bad way! We are in for an economic collapse. Hopefully we won’t have a depression!!!

    1. It is great for education. However, we will pay a great cost in taxes, new politically correct view point of history, and dictate what we teach in schools. Students and teachers will need to conform with PC policies with rules of dress and room decorum. (No rebel flags or symbols). You will be dictated to by The Democrats.

      1. Also, the NEA will be pushing the 1619 Project which is not real history. It’s the politicization of our history. The 1776 Project is much better for our country to study. Remember our past, good and bad, and learn from it so we don’t repeat it.

        1. If only we were actually learning from our past. The 1619 project simply places the correct emphasis on the history of colonization. It’s sad that you still belive the “white” way is the “right” way.

        2. I agree with you, Jim. While our founding fathers and those that came before us were flawed – as we all are – it is our history. If we do not learn our true history, how can we learn from the mistakes of the past? How can we have pride in the strides our country has taken this far? How can we have pride in the steps we continue to take into the future?

        3. 1619 Project is Black history. We cannot forget about the history of slaves in America. There are many cultures of history in this country. We need to teach history correctly and accurately. Hopefully, with all the money going into the schools every school will start with books, swimming pools, heat, and air. Equity in schools is so important.

      2. If the outgoing Dictator Trump hadn’t insisted upon giving away so many of our treasury dollars to the very wealthy, disguised as Covid 19 relief, we would not have such a huge deficit. I am confident that the Biden administration will place the tax burden where it belongs, on the very wealthy who are doing just fine.

      3. Why would you want a Confederate flag in a classroom. If PC is a euphemism for the TRUTH then I’m all for it.

    2. Why don’t you leave stuff alone until we can all review everything? You aren’t the one to change things, we the people are to do it not you or your Administration period.

    3. Yes, and so happy to have a new administration who will value citizens and taxpayers who understand why a high-quality education costs more, why hateful images need to be excluded from school dress codes, why it’s important for school systems to provide meaningful direction to curriculum, why learning how to examine various perspectives and information (for example, examining “1619” in addition to “1776”) is a critical part of a functional education, etc.

  11. Biden and the socialists will kill this country. Educators are supposed to lead and teach.
    I’m beginning to believe that the union is hurting teachers and students

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