‘At the doorstep of a crisis’: Education secretary sounds the alarm ahead of new school year

Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education under President Joe Biden’s administration, is sounding the alarm as the United States heads toward a fresh new school year.

According to Cardona, who gave the grim announcement during an interview on CNN’s “New Day” with Brianna Keilar, America is currently at the “doorstep of a crisis” in education. The reason? A shortage of teachers.

Keilar introduced the segment with a clip of multiple teachers discussing their current financial situations and the reason some of them have left the profession entirely.

“We’re at the doorstep of a crisis and if we don’t take it seriously, we’re going to be facing what we experienced during the Omicron spread where our teachers didn’t have Covid, but they had to quarantine and we had to keep our schools open,” Cardona explained. “Look, across the country today, students are preparing, or are going into school for the first day. There’s so much promise, so much hope, and I’m excited about this school year, but we have to address this issue head-on. We have to make sure our teachers are getting a competitive salary. Teachers make 20 percent less than college graduates in other professions.”

It’s long been understood that teaching is not a job one takes if they’re in search of money, however many teachers claim they are having to take second jobs just to stay afloat. Cardona pointed at the median salary of a public school teacher in Montana, which is about $32,000 annually, to make his point that educators should be paid more.

“What are you going to do with that?” Cardona asked, declaring it’s “unacceptable” that teachers are needing to take additional jobs.

As older teachers leave the field, many at risk of serious side effects if they contract COVID, there are simply not enough younger teachers to replace them. This is leaving schools woefully understaffed, but some see it as an opportunity, rather than a “crisis.”

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