Educators know that reducing class sizes helps improve student learning. It is simply common sense -- when qualified teachers teach smaller classes in modern schools, students learn more. Teachers with small classes can spend time and energy helping each child to succeed. Smaller classes also enhance safety, discipline, and order in the classroom.
Representative Wu (D-OR) has introduced legislation (H.R. 3010) that would provide grants to reduce class size by hiring additional fully-qualified teachers. The goals of the bill are to:
Reduce class sizes nationally, in grades one through three, to an average of 18 students per classroom; and
Improve teaching in those grades so that all students can learn to read independently and well by the end of the third grade.
Ask your Representative to support this important bill.
SPOTLIGHT: WHAT IS CONGRESS DOING FOR EDUCATORS? (A new periodic feature highlighting Members of Congress who are supporting public education and educators)
Representative Scott Murphy (D-NY) is sounding off on the healthcare debate. Murphy, who just took his congressional seat in late April after defeating Republican Jim Tedisco, discussed with Politico magazine whether it’s worth voting for a tax increase to get health care reform.
“There are a number of things in the plan that are going to save money, but we can do a lot more to figure out how to pay for this before we turn to cash-strapped New Yorkers, who are hard hit already, and ask for more of their tax dollars,” said Murphy. “We need to have real reform before we turn to taxes.”
More than 48 million Americans—including 9 million children—have no health coverage. And with the economy in its current downturn—the situation is expected to get worse with more people losing their coverage.
Meanwhile, Representative Eric Massa (D-NY) wants to see health care reform include a robust public plan. Massa has reportedly joined a group of about 50 progressive lawmakers who have all agreed to vote against any bill that did not meet certain criteria for a public option.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) was quoted this week on National Public Radio in support of a public plan saying, “I believe that the reforms we are creating will result in more competitive, affordable, and innovative options for Mainers, yet we can all agree that we must not leave universal access to chance. That is why I also support a public plan which must be available from day one."
As we have reported over the last few months, NEA supports and is working aggressively for reform that ensures that every person in America has quality, affordable health care coverage. The Association opposes health care proposals that would tax employer-provided health benefits. NEA also supports a choice of plans and providers—both public and private.