Teachers Change Lives
I recently had the opportunity to speak to educators to kick off the start of a new school year in the Kansas City Public School District. I know the value of educators and those who give their all to help children.
A teacher’s job is the most important job because teachers change lives. They have the ability to connect with students beyond academics, in other aspects of their lives. A teacher’s personal interest can make the difference in whether or not a student returns to school or even whether he or she graduates.
One in four students will drop out of school. But according to the National Center for Education the dropout rate is decreasing, down from 10.9 percent in 2000 to 6.1 percent in 2016. The nation is moving in the right direction, but we still have more to do.
Not everyone can be a teacher. It takes patience and understanding. But teachers cannot do it alone; they need community support and resources to do their jobs. They need increased pay and smaller classrooms to give every student the attention they deserve. They need to know their schools are safe and protected.
Teachers and staff need additional support to identify and assist at-risk students. That’s why I introduced H.R. 3552, the “Cady Housh and Jason Flatt Teen Suicide Prevention Act.” This bill, a bipartisan effort, would require teachers, principals, counselors and other staff to take youth suicide awareness and prevention training each year. Currently twenty states have enacted some form of this law. I believe it should be expanded nationwide, so our teachers and staff have the tools they need to help save lives.
As we start another school year, let us not forget those who care for our children, so that teachers can continue to inspire, educate, and guide students into their future.
Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress