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Jill Biden on getting teachers fair pay: "It starts at the top"

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden hosted the 2020 and 2021 teachers of the year awards at the White House on Monday. President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the event which was held in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mrs. Biden, who is a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, is the first person to have a job while serving as first lady, so she knows first-hand some of the challenges that teachers face.  

According to a 2021 survey by RAND's American Teacher Panel, one in four teachers are either thinking about leaving by the end of the school year or are leaving in record numbers because they are frustrated, feel they are underpaid and overworked. 

"We're here speaking for our students. We're here celebrating teachers. We have to speak for our colleagues as well," 2020 National Teacher of the Year, Tabatha Rosproy, told "CBS Mornings" Gayle King. "And part of our role as state teachers of the year is to do that." 

Rosproy said that one reason teachers are opting to leave is pay and compensation. "This is news from the ground level, is that compensation is not fair for our educators. Some of our districts have said, 'We've frozen salaries this year, but here's a $200 COVID-bonus,' right, for working through hazardous work conditions."

"The emotional labor, the physical labor, the amount of extra work and things we have to learn have not been fairly compensated. And our states have not always come through with funding. I think they're trying really hard," she added.  

Mrs. Biden told King that in order to get teachers the pay that they deserve, it needs to "start from the top." 

 "I think Joe is saying, 'We have to pay our teachers more.' And we're getting more money to the schools. I don't know whether you've gotten the money from the American Rescue Plan or whether you felt its impacts yet," Biden said. "But Joe has always, that's one of the things he ran on. And he knows, I mean, because I'm an educator and he saw, you know, the hours that I put in, just like all these teachers. And then the states, the governors and the state legislators." 

 Mrs. Biden added: "I mean, they have to give more money to teachers. I mean, it's just the bottom line." 

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