WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17),a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, highlighted the need to address teacher shortages and social determinants of health in a hearing on social and emotional learning in K-12 education.
“Empty teacher positions impact our schools, children and communities as a whole. Leaving teachers underpaid and undervalued will sell our next generation short,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “As we look at ways to best support K-12 students, we must take action to support educators, fill open positions and focus our efforts on a whole-child approach. That also means addressing the social determinants of health impacting students’ mental and physical well-being. I’m thankful to my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee for holding a hearing today focused on these important issues.”
Bustos is the original sponsor of the Retaining Educators Takes Added Investment Now (RETAIN) Act, which would create a fully refundable tax credit to help support educators and fill empty positions. She also leads the bipartisan Social Determinants Accelerator Act, which would create federal grant programs to empower states, local governments, nonprofits, and nonprofit institutions of higher education to tackle persistent economic and social conditions — like reduced educational opportunities, limited access to health care providers, stable housing, reliable transportation and healthy foods — that often hinder health outcomes.