Take a moment to thank a public school teacher in the ensuing days. Thank them for continuing to face the increasing demands that come with educating children in this diverse society. Thank them for taking on these challenges despite chronic underfunding for public education in Iowa. Thank them for taking on these challenges in the face of Republican-led efforts to weaken collective bargaining laws that give them a voice in the workplace. Thank them for facing these challenges while the U.S. Senate confirmed an education secretary who has no experience in public education.
Thank them while you can. Before they leave for a state that fully appreciates public education and the teachers who’ve dedicated their lives to it. Before they leave for professions that better compensate them for their level of education, expertise and years of experience. Thank them before we see what’s happening in Wisconsin: veteran teachers leaving in droves and a 30 percent drop in enrollment in teacher training programs.
Thank them before we dismantle public education, a fundamental aspect of our democracy, altogether.