Statement by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel Regarding Release of MetLife Survey of The American Teacher


WASHINGTON – “The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher results are shocking, with teacher job satisfaction having dropped to the lowest level in more than 20 years. Some 29 percent of teachers—professionals of extraordinary talent and dedication—are thinking of leaving the profession they love due, in part, to the unconscionable cuts to the resources their students need.  In addition, more students are hungry and in need of extra support. This is not the way America should treat its students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools.  And it is especially outrageous to students in schools of greatest need.


“More than three quarters of the teachers surveyed reported that their school’s budget had decreased. For most, budget cuts were significant. I have heard similar concerns from NEA members, who have told me that staff and important programs have been cut; early childhood education has been eliminated; computers and text-books were out of date; and classes such as history, art, PE and music—which provide a well-rounded education—are no longer offered.


“As parents worry about having enough money for the things they need, a majority of teachers reported that students needed more health and social services support. It is critical that schools have appropriate wrap-around services available to ensure that students are ready to learn.


“Reports of increased parent and community engagement represent a bright spot. Increasing parent and family involvement is an NEA priority and a top strategy of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which focuses on schools in low-income areas.


“Policy makers’ actions have real consequences, and those are being felt in classrooms across the country.  We encourage parents and community leaders to join us and speak up against the devastating impact of budget cuts and instead demand that students have the resources they need to succeed.”


The MetLife Survey can be found at


To learn more about NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, please visit


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