POTUS invites teacher to SOTU

A third-generation teacher and a member of the National Education Association, one of NYSUT’s national affiliates, attended last night’s State of the Union address at the invitation of President Barack Obama.

Sara Ferguson is an elementary math and literary teacher in Chester Upland School District, one of the poorest districts in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, Chester Upland’s teachers and staff were told there wasn’t enough money to pay them because the district had run out of state funding. Educators there — true to their professional commitment — agreed to temporarily work without pay. On Monday, Pennsylvania lawmakers reached an agreement with the government to deal with the fiscal crisis and ensure teachers and staff would be paid.

“Sara Ferguson symbolizes the commitment that teachers and support staff from coast to coast have for students. Educators care deeply about their students and are dedicated to their success,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Chester Upland is an extreme example of the devastating consequences budget cuts are having on students across America. We cannot allow students to be the victims of misguided priorities.”

Ferguson, a teacher for 20 years, said: “The president’s invitation shows he is aware and concerned about the crisis confronting Chester Upland and its students.”

Chester Upland is a suburb of Philadelphia.

One Comment

  1. Betsy Sandberg January 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Dear readers,
    Click here for Sara’s full take on being at the State of the Union address
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-ferguson/sara-ferguson-teacher-state-of-the-union_b_1230362.html

    Here’s one quote “I represented all of the teachers and support staff from across the country who are struggling with too few resources and too little support. This invitation was an honor, but my dedication to education is not exceptional or unique. Because, for all teachers, it is our students that keep us going.”

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