Letter to Congress Commemorating World Teachers' Day and also Calling for Passage of the Jobs Bill
October 05, 2011
Today, we join with millions across the globe in celebrating World Teachers’ Day (www.5Oct.org). This important day, held each year since 1994 on October 5, commemorates the 1966 signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers. It is an occasion to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing a quality education at all levels.
World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world. It offers an important opportunity to draw public attention to the critical role of teachers. World Teachers’ Day acknowledges the many ways teachers make a difference in the lives of their students and in their communities.
There is no doubt that teachers play a vital role in helping advance economic development and ensure stable nations. Education by quality teachers reduces poverty and inequality, and provides a foundation for sound governance, civic participation, and strong societal institutions. This is true not only in developing nations, but here in America, where effective educators are the key to closing achievement gaps, giving every child the opportunity to succeed, and ensuring the competitive workforce necessary in the global economy.
Yet, even as we celebrate the important role of teachers around the world, hundreds of thousands of educator jobs are at stake in our own backyard. Educator layoffs are harming our students — with ballooning class sizes and elimination of core services and programs — and jeopardizing our future strength as a nation. When we save jobs in our nation’s public schools, students are the winners: they receive more individual attention, more help from counselors, more after school help, and more opportunities to succeed.
Today, I invite you to celebrate World Teachers’ Day by recognizing teachers in your own community and also by supporting passage of the American Jobs Act — to put educators back to work and keep our students learning.
Dennis Van Roekel