Teacher Appreciation Week

by Carol Kocivar | April 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
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Let’s say “thank you” by supporting education funding

One lesson from this pandemic: Families now see what’s really important and what’s just fluff. For millions of parents, at the top of the “really important” list are teachers, school staff and open public schools.

As Shonda Rhimes famously tweeted:

It may just be serendipity that teacher appreciation week is the first week of May. But it is certainly the right time to thank teachers and everyone working in our public schools for stepping up to the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.

Teacher appreciation week is the first week of May

From pivoting to distance learning to serving food to millions of students and parents, public schools are playing critical roles in our communities.

It is teachers developing new on-line skills. It is administrators scrambling to provide computers and software and internet connectivity. It is food workers and clerical staff and custodians distributing food and keeping schools safe and clean.

Thank you for going beyond the ordinary, for being that essential community resource, for caring so much for our children and families.

Words are Not Enough

Sometimes the words “thank you” are not enough. This is one of those times. As our schools respond to the COVID-19 crisis, they are shouldering significant unanticipated costs. The financial impact of this pandemic threatens massive cuts to school services, staff and important programs.

The federal relief packages passed so far have included only budget dust for schools. Teachers are about to get clobbered. Unless something changes fast, the Learning Policy Institute estimates a "force reduction" of nearly 50,000 teaching positions in California alone.

Largest Teaching Force Reductions, by State
(Based on a 15% reduction in state contributions to education revenue)

 

Est. Lost Teaching Positions

Teaching Force Cut (%)

California

49,197

13.8%

New York

21,542

9.2%

Texas

17,596

4.2%

Washington

13,862

19.5%

Illinois

13,279

7.6%

Michigan

12,561

12.9%

Minnesota

12,231

20.5%

New Jersey

10,023

7.1%

Georgia

9,999

7.4%

Pennsylvania

9,366

6.4%

Source: Learning Policy Institute analysis

In addition to that “thank you” note dropped off at a food pickup or words exchanged at a Zoom meeting, let’s show our appreciation by contacting our federal elected officials. Ask them to support more money for our schools.

Education leaders ask for greater federal relief

National education organizations are asking Congress for about $200 billion in new funding, including more money for special education, distance learning, Title I and emergency funding for states to support schools ($175 billion).

In a separate letter to Congress, the Council of Great City Schools, representing the nation's largest urban public school systems urges support of these funding proposals.

This educational catastrophe could weaken the country’s economic foundation for years to come without significant financial support from Congress.”

Let’s say a loud “thank you” in a way that really matters: by supporting education funding in this time of crisis. Below is an action alert from the National Education Association (NEA) in support of more funding. Click the link to take action:

The message:

An economic downturn that could rival the Great Depression is upon us — and threatening the ability of state and local governments to fund public education and other essential services. ...A decade ago, during the Great Recession, state and local governments scrapped essential student services and laid off tens of thousands of educators. We can’t let that happen again.

Did you complete the alert above to show your appreciation? I bet you’ve got a minute to thank a teacher and our public schools.

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