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Lily Eskelsen's picture

You probably didn’t know it, but today is Parents’ Day.

For 89 years, during the third week in November, we celebrate American Education Week, and each day of the week we celebrate a different aspect of what makes education work.

Today is Parents’ Day.

Any teacher will tell you how much we rely on parents as our closest partners in making sure kids get what they need. And any teacher will tell you how hard it is for so many parents in this time of fiscal meltdown not to be having their own parental meltdown.

There’s never been so much stress on a family. Some parents are working two or three part-time jobs with no benefits. Others would feel lucky to find one part-time job. We know that stress because the kids aren’t able to leave it outside the classroom door. They live with it.

Which means we all live with it. Because our children will carry the scars of hunger and fear and insecurity for a long, long time. Something this devastating affects their lives and so it affects our future. Many of our parents are still out of work, through no fault of their own. Congress can and must help by throwing parents the lifeline of an extension of their unemployment insurance.

If it impacts parents, it impacts children. Ask Congress to act now to protect a safety net that is holding so many children. There’s no better time.

Today is Parents’ Day.

Lily Eskelsen is a 6th grade teacher and the vice president of the National Education Association.

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