Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on The Release of the American Federation of Teachers Teacher Stress Report

Nov 3, 2017 Issues: Education

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to the publication released this week by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association. The report is the result of a survey of nearly 5,000 educators, and shows that nearly two-thirds of educators usually feel stressed out, twice the level felt by workers in the general population.  A study released by UCLA earlier this month shows that since Trump’s inauguration, high school teachers are reporting an increasing problem of stress, anxiety and bullying among their students.

Main points from the 2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey are:

  • Nearly two-thirds (61%) of educators usually feel stressed out, twice that felt by workers in the general population.
  • Most surveyed feel demoralized and disrespected by state and federal officials; 86 percent felt most disrespected by Betsy DeVos.
  • The primary workplace stressors are the adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development, mandated curriculum and standardized tests.

“This report paints a bleak picture of the state of affairs being faced by our teachers. Before they can take care of our students, teachers must take care of themselves. Their important work can be mentally taxing, and having the tools available to manage these stresses is crucial to making sure our students are getting a first-rate education,” said Rep. Ryan. “That is why I was proud to introduce the Teacher Health and Wellness Act, legislation which provides support for teachers by creating a pilot study at the National Institute of Health aimed at reducing teacher stress, increasing teacher health and ultimately boosting student achievement. I will always fight to make sure educators have the support they need to help themselves, and our kids, succeed.” 

Congressman Tim Ryan recently authored this Op-Ed in The Hill discussing his teacher stress legislation, and why its passage is important. You can learn more about the legislation here.

Congressman Ryan successfully got language included in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill that encourages the Director of the NIH to promote a study on reducing teacher stress and wellbeing. This bill passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate. You can see a link to the language here.