The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

TONIGHT: Sanders to Hold Town Hall on the Teacher Pay Crisis in America

Rebecca Pringle, the President of NEA, and Randi Weingarten, the President of AFT, will Join Sen. Sanders on Stage

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, tonight will host a town hall at the U.S. Capitol to discuss the pay crisis teachers are facing throughout the United States.

Joining Sanders at the town hall, entitled “Respecting our Teachers: A Town Hall on the Teacher Pay Crisis in America,” will be Rebecca Pringle, President of the National Education Association (NEA), Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and four public school teachers to discuss their experiences. Educators from around the country will be invited to submit questions online in advance and there will be a live question and answer following the discussion by the panelists.

“In the richest country in the history of the world, each and every person must be able to get the education they need to fulfil their dreams,” said Sanders. “That means we need the best education system in the world, and that means we need the best teachers. Teachers have one of the toughest and most demanding jobs, and we must stand up and support them. It is unconscionable that over half of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than planned.”

Recent studies show that K-12 public school educators were the most likely to report higher levels of anxiety, stress, and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the current school year, every state is reporting shortages of both classroom and substitute teachers. The fact that most school districts and states do not provide teachers with a livable and competitive wage is part of the reason people are choosing not to enter the profession and why many are leaving. Research has found that teachers are one of the most important factors in improving students’ outcomes, and our nation has much work to do to ensure all students are taught by fully qualified and well-compensated teachers.

At the town hall, Sanders will hear directly from educators on the impact of low teacher pay and low teacher morale, among other challenges teachers are facing today.

What: Respecting Our Teachers: A Town Hall on the Teacher Pay Crisis in America
Who: Sen. Bernie Sanders, NEA President Rebecca Pringle, AFT President Randi Weingarten, teachers and other educators
When: Monday, Feb. 13, 7:15 p.m. ET, Doors Open at 6:15 p.m. ET
Where: Capitol Visitor’s Center, The Congressional Auditorium,
Room CVC-200 First St NE, Washington, DC 20515
Note: The event will also be livestreamed at and

United States Senator for Vermont

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