May 10, 2022 - Axios Events

Cardona wants to "lift the profession" amid teacher shortage

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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at an Axios event Tuesday shared a message for teachers as they're being pushed out of the workforce in droves: "I see you. I hear you. I appreciate you. And we're fighting to make sure that we continue to lift the profession."

Why it matters: A pandemic-fueled teacher shortage has pushed public schools to the brink, writes Axios' Erin Doherty. The nation's educators are burned out and are considering quitting at rates higher than ever before.

What he's saying: "It doesn't take a pandemic for us to appreciate what teachers are doing," Cardona said. "I was talking to teacher yesterday and she was telling me ... this was a tough year."

  • "There was a lot of transitioning back into the classrooms and kind of helping families and students kind of get back into a routine."

Cardona outlined steps that could help keep teachers in the workforce: "We need to do everything we can to make sure that we're removing obstacles for them to continue with their education or buy homes. I've been a very strong advocate for better competitive salaries for educators, good working conditions."

"Competitive salaries, good working conditions, teacher's voice at the table when we're talking about reimagining education. We're fighting for you. But we also recognize what you've done in the last two years, especially. And we appreciate you and we thank you for what you're doing for our students."
ā€” Miguel Cardona's message to teachers

The education secretary said he is proud of the government's work to greatly expand the public service loan forgiveness program, which is made available to teachers.

  • "[I]t's taken a lot of work, but it's worth it to know that educators don't have to be buried in debt for the rest of their lives. It's a good feeling to know that teachers are taking advantage now of public service loan forgiveness."
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