Jeff Merkley: Teachers we needed you and you delivered
May 5, 2020
It's one of the core promises in our country: every child, no matter their color, where they come from, or which side of the railroad tracks they live on, is entitled to a world-class education.
How we keep that promise during a pandemic is one of the most difficult challenges our country has faced.
So, before I go any further, I have just one thing to say to America's teachers, educators, and everyone who has a hand in keeping our bright young minds moving forward during this tough time.
We see you. Today, on National Teacher Day.
And every day, we see you.
We see how you've not missed a beat when our schools were forced to physically shut due to the pandemic, and how you've carried on teaching our children from afar.
We see how you're doing everything you can to bring equity to this tough task, understanding that not every family is the same, or has access to the same tools for their children.
We see you struggling with distance like the rest of us, with doing everything you can to keep family, friends, and neighbors safe and healthy—all while carrying on with grace, because you're the front line for an entire generation looking to us for answers.
Teachers, educators, and support staff: in this trying time, you have been among the heroes our children and families needed the most, and you've delivered.
Now it's our turn to be the heroes that our teachers need. I'm talking about Congress, and about local leaders from every corner of America.
That starts by Congress stepping up to bolster state, local, and tribal governments before they have to institute devastating layoffs and deep cuts to school funding.
No surprise, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are balking so far, but I'm going to keep fighting like hell to support teachers in this critical work, and make sure that teachers and their families can get through this devastating pandemic.
Today, reach out to the teachers in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them, Graham.