Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Tom O’Halleran listens to constituents during a visit to Pima in August, 2018.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) introduced H.Res. 58, a resolution supporting higher teacher pay and calling for greater investments in public education.
“Our teachers and school staff are shaping the next generations of American workers and leaders, and they should have the tools they need to do their job. Unfortunately, years of cuts to public education have resulted in low pay, too many crumbling schools, and teachers forking over their hard-earned dollars for basic classroom supplies,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “Congress and states must step up and support funding for public education. There is no reason that public school teachers and staff in America are some of the lowest paid professionals in the workforce.”
“This is an important step in closing the pay equity gap between educators and other professionals,” said Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05), 2016 National Teacher of the Year recipient. “Educators have an immeasurable impact on the lives of students and their families and I am always saddened when a colleague has to make the painful decision to leave the profession because it is financially unsustainable. I am equally disappointed when our best and brightest young people, who would be tremendous educators, opt for other careers because of the lack of support and resources they can expect to face as educators. This resolution begins to address these concerns and allows education professionals to better serve our students.”
“The Arizona Education Association wants to thank Congressman Tom O’Halleran for leading the effort in Congress to call for greater investment in our students and schools and to respect teachers and education support professionals with competitive salaries and wages so that we can attract and retain the best educators in our schools. Over the past year the #RedForEd movement has captured educators’ and parents’ frustration with the chronic underfunding of public schools, the paucity of resources for students, and the lack of respect for the work educators do. Public schools are where students come together in learning communities of all kinds, united by a single idea: Every student deserves a quality education that inspires their curiosity and desire to learn.”
The resolution affirms that the House of Representatives supports teacher salaries that are comparable to the salaries of other college graduates and urges the federal government and states to increase investment in instruction, classroom materials, and services available within public schools. It also acknowledges the federal government’s treaty obligations to fund the construction and maintenance of tribal schools.
The resolution is supported by the American Federation of Teachers. See the full resolution here.