Save Education Jobs Act of 2020: What People Are Saying

WASHINGTON — The Save Education Jobs Act of 2020 is a bold plan to stabilize the education workforce, mitigate the impact of student learning loss, and stimulate the economic recovery for the long-term. Here’s what the nation’s leading education organizations are saying about the bill: 

American Federation of Teachers (AFT): “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic recession has created a crisis for our communities: millions of jobs lost in our schools. These job losses put educators, classroom assistants, school nurses, counselors, bus drivers, professors and other key school personnel out of work at the exact time their students need more support and more attention, and will stretch our public education system thin for years to come. Instead of bailing out corporations, this critical legislation helps invest desperately needed funds to preserve education jobs over the next decade, offering our students access to the teachers they need, and protecting jobs for millions of hardworking educators,” said Randi Weingarten, president of AFT.

American Psychological Association: “The American Psychological Association supports this important legislation and applauds the Education and Labor Committee’s efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the education workforce. As the economic fallout of the pandemic has hit state and local budgets particularly hard, this bill would ensure the federal support necessary to address the loss of teachers and other critical personnel, including school-based mental health providers, across the country. A robust workforce will be critical to mitigate learning loss and meet the social and emotional learning needs of all students across the socio-economic spectrum,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of APA.

Educators for Excellence: “Across the nation, school districts whose budgets have been imperiled by the pandemic are struggling to avoid layoffs. Funding roles for great educators and support staff is more important than ever; schools cannot run safely and effectively, either in person or virtually, with fewer staff to meet students’ needs. Furthermore, we know that past layoffs have disproportionately impacted educators of color and those serving low-income students. If we don’t step in to ensure layoffs are prevented, particularly in the schools serving our most vulnerable and historically oppressed students, we risk further setting back a generation already deeply harmed by the inequities of this pandemic,” said Evan Stone, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Educators for Excellence.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): “Through our experiences supporting schools and districts nationwide in 2020, ISTE knows just how critical the role of instructional technology and library media specialists, as well as edtech coaches and other teacher leaders, have been in leading online learning transition and implementation. This bill not only provides funding to protect such integral staff positions, but also resources necessary to provide them with ongoing professional development opportunities in technology-empowered teaching and learning. We thank federal policymakers for calling attention to this important issue illuminated by COVID-19,” said Ji Soo Song, Senior Policy Advisor at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): “The National Association of School Psychologists is proud to support the Save Education Jobs Act.  We have a critical shortage of school psychologists, who work with families, teachers, administrators, and other educators to support the mental and behavioral health of our students.  We cannot afford to lose these professionals in our schools. The pandemic has worsened an already looming mental health crisis among children and youth, and this bill will help ensure that students have access to school psychologists and other specialized instructional support personnel who provide academic, social-emotional, and mental and behavioral supports to our students to help them thrive,” said Kathleen Minke, PhD, NASP Executive Director.

National Education Association: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been doing everything possible to support students and to partner with families and communities to ensure every student— regardless of race, ability, or ZIP code — has what they need to thrive. But the challenges facing public schools and colleges have been exacerbated: more than 835,000 educator jobs already have been lost and many more layoffs are on the horizon as local and state governments find themselves falling off a fiscal cliff. These job losses have consequences; educator job losses dramatically and disproportionally affect our most vulnerable student populations who would lose that trusted guidance counselor, lifeline school nurse or desperately-needed custodian while being forced into ballooning class sizes that are both unsafe in a public health emergency and detrimental to student learning. If we are able to weather this storm, the federal government must provide tools and significant resources to save education jobs and reopen our school buildings and college campuses safely and equitably. We thank Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, a proud NEA member and champion for public education, for her leadership in introducing the Save Education Jobs Act, and we applaud Chairman Bobby Scott for his continued work to ensure students receive what they need when they need it,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. 

Next100: “It is imperative that our national policymakers understand the role of educators in the fight to end the pandemic, and invest in the future of our educators so that they can continue to lead us through this crisis -- and the Save Education Jobs Act does just that. As a think tank created for and by the next generation, Next100 believes that the Save Education Jobs Act puts the values of the next generation into action: investing in the future of young people and those who support them, and centering equity in our policies. The Save Education Jobs Act will not just invest much-needed funds to retain and create education jobs in communities impacted by COVID-19, but will ensure those communities hit hardest by the pandemic won't also be hit hardest by state-level budget cuts.” 

San Diego Unified School District“Every student, regardless of circumstances, has a right to recover fully from the effects of this crisis. Recovery will require more than better WiFi access. The cure for COVID-caused distance learning is not more distance learning. To recover, students will need added live instruction time, in small groups, with trained educators. This will require additional federal investment to offset the decline in state revenues, if we are to avoid education cuts that will fall hardest on those school systems with the greatest needs. If we cannot avoid these cuts now, we will pay them for decades into the future by creating a lost generation of students. We owe our students more than that. They have the right to their recovery,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified School District. 

Teach Plus: “Now is the time for Congress to fulfill its commitment to this recovery, by delivering the funds needed to ensure that our schools stay strong and that we preserve and grow back the jobs that make education work for all of our learners. The pandemic has laid bare vast inequities in our schools and communities, as well as the urgent needs of educators to support their students’ learning and success. Those include meeting the social and emotional needs of students and families, digital equity and closing the digital divide, specialized professional development for educators, and so much more. This is especially true for our highest-need students, districts, and states that need support on the ground so that every student can thrive,” said Roberto J. Rodríguez, Teach Plus President and CEO.


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