How remote schooling is impacting students

Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, talks about the pandemic’s toll on education and who she’d like to see as the next secretary of education.
5:04 | 11/30/20

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Transcript for How remote schooling is impacting students
As coronavirus cases rise, the dilemma over whether to keep children in school for in-person instruction versus keeping them at home to just ride out the pandemic that remains one of the biggest stress points for parents everywhere and of course, not just the parents and the students who are stressed here. According to 1300 Illinois teachers, more than a third of them have considered quitting due to covid-19-induced stress. Let's bring in Becky Pringle, president of the national education association. Becky, great to have you back with us here today. I know the big headline here at least here in New York City, this city has decided to reopen public schools, they're going to try it again next week. Of course, a lot of schools across this country remain closed to in-person learning. What are you hearing from teachers? Amy and T.J., it's so good to be with you. I've had the opportunity to talk to teachers and our support staff all over this country and I can tell you as a teacher of science for over 30 years, there's nothing we want more than to be with our students, we love them. We know how important in-person learning is. But we've been saying since the beginning of this pandemic, we have to do it safely and we have to do it equitably. They are exhausted and disappointed honestly and the federal government not taking action since may when the house of representatives passed the heroes act to actually provide them with the resources they need for ppe and proper sanitization and distancing, making sure they had time to collaborate to have plans in place -- if our students or educators got sick but when. That's what they're continuing to advocate for and they need the federal government to act right now. How much are our kids suffering in terms of their education and development by not being in the classroom every day? We know that our students, particularly our most vulnerable students, known since the beginning of this pandemic, that our black and brown, indigenous students have Ed greatly, not only suffered from the pandemic, from covid-19, but the fallout from that, the economic crisis. And so we know that many of our students, our most marginalized students are going through trauma -- we know that we have to pay attention to their social and emotional development to learning and so we're working to try to develop the skills for all of our educators to provide those in this moment. We want to be back with our students. What we have been saying forever is to help us, provide the resources, help us to close the digital divide that we know existed and existed before this pandemic, those are the kinds of things that have to be done and our parents and community members can join with us to demand what our students need and what they deserve. Becky, you said teachers need the federal government to act now. Obviously there's a big transition in the white house coming up, have you been in touch with the Biden team coming in to talk about type of support specifically you need and want? Amy, I have. And actually we talked through the election, too, our 3 million national education association members worked so hard to elect Joe Biden and kamala Harris and we know that the President-Elect and the vice President-Elect will work with educators to make sure that our students have what they need. We've talked to them about ensuring that our students are not only safe but we're dealing with issues of equity that have existed forever, and so we're talking about racial justice and economic justice. We're talking about closing those access and opportunity gaps and the biden/harris transition team has been working with us to determine what our students need and to demand that this country finally live up to its promise and look at public education as the common good as the foundation of this democracy that it is. Who do you want Biden pick for the secretary of education? Give me a name. We've been talking about criteria, T.J., somebody who understands racial and social justice, somebody who understands that education is the foundation of this democracy, let me tell you, our very own lily Eskelsen Garcia -- someone who fits that bill -- former teacher of the year, has fought her entire life for racial justice, one of the names that's in consideration and she's one of our own. All right then, we'll see how that goes. Thank you so much for your time today. My parents are educators, so I have a special place in my heart for you guys. So thank you so much for what you're doing. Thank you, T.J. My mom was a teacher, my grandmother was. I have aunts and uncles, all teachers. The passion, though, you saw her passion. We need more of that. That was a beautiful thing to witness. Thank you so much. Up next when we come back --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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