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The Students Always Come First

From crisis intervention to finding needed funds for classrooms, educators always put their students first.
Published: January 2, 2020

Welcome back from the holidays! I hope you feel recharged and ready to dive into the second half of the school year. Because educators—like you!—are  red up and creating positive change in communities across the country. And you are needed—now more than ever.

This month’s issue focuses on the epidemic of youth suicide that has brought tragedy to families and schools nationwide. In our cover story, “Are You Thinking About Suicide?” you’ll meet educators who are tackling this crisis head-on.

This level of dedication is no surprise to educators. But so many teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) can barely afford to do the work they love. In “How Higher Salaries Could Save the Teaching Profession,” we talk to educators who are struggling to stay in the field. And we explore how NEA and the #RedForEd movement are succeeding in getting raises and increased funding for public schools.

Substitute teachers and ESPs also face the growing threat of privatization. In “Privatizers Set Their Sights on School Staff,” we visit towns where these educators are proving their value to students and communities—and winning!

Despite all of these challenges, educators and schools continue to innovate. In “A New Generation of Career Ed for the 21st Century,” we explore career and technical education programs that prepare students for lucrative careers focused on high-tech “green” technologies. And, in “When a Bake Sale Isn’t Enough,” an industrious teacher in an under-resourced school has mastered the art of online crowdfunding to get her students what they need. See her extreme classroom makeover.

This year, our nation will have the opportunity to elect a pro-education president, which could lift these burdens on so many educators and students. We kick off our election coverage on Page 40. Educators have amazing creativity, optimism, and resilience in the face of adversity—especially when it comes to doing right by our students.

To all of you, I wish you a happy, healthy, and innovative new year!

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.