Oklahoma Congresswoman Introduces Education Legislation

WASHINGTON — Overworked and underpaid. This is the life of a teacher working the front lines of a global pandemic.

Elizabeth Scott teaches English at Edmond North High School and said that the risk they are taking to continue teaching isn’t worth their lives.

“In the first three weeks, we had three teachers quit, and two more had to go on a mental health break because they couldn’t take it,” Scott said. “We don’t get paid enough. A lot of teachers feel like we’re being treated as expendable.”

Only now have we started to consider teachers on the front line of the pandemic. One Oklahoma representative is working to give educators the support they deserve.

Earlier last week, Congresswoman Kendra Horn introduced the Educators Are Heroes Act, which would give teachers working the front lines a 25 percent bonus.

“We need to recognize and value the work that our educators are doing,” Horn told Gaylord News.

Horn’s Educators Are Heroes Act is struggling to pass right now, but teachers such as Elizabeth Scott absolutely believe that it should.

“We work very hard in a normal year, and now this is unprecedented,” Scott said. “And if anything we need more support, and we’re getting much less. It’s tough.”

Still overworked — but hopefully not underpaid for long — teachers are working the front lines everyday and hope to receive some kind of support from the government for their efforts.

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.