U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said colleagues in the Senate agreed to designate the monument at Emporia State University paying tribute to educators who lost their lives while working with students as a national memorial.
The Memorial to Fallen Educators would secure federal recognition if the U.S. House adopted complementary legislation filed by U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., in May.
The ESU memorial was placed on campus in conjunction with the National Teacher Hall of Fame. Under the federal designation, the memorial would remain in ESU’s hands. It wouldn’t be in the National Park System or require federal funding.
“Our country’s educators play an integral role in shaping the next generations of Americans, and their hard work and dedication to their students too often goes unrecognized,” Moran said Friday in a statement. “The Senate’s passage of my legislation to give the memorial status as a national memorial will make certain it continues to recognize fallen educators whose passion and commitment to their students have benefited us all.”
The memorial lists names of U.S. educators since 1764 who died while performing their job.
ESU President Allison Garrett said the university was appreciative Moran’s advocacy moved the memorial closer to national status.
“We are delighted the Senate has taken action to honor educators who have lost their lives while working with students,” Garrett said.
The memorial was dedicated in 2014 to honor fallen educators who taught at the preschool to 12th-grade levels. The National Teacher Hall of Fame board decided in 2015 to expand eligibility to college and university faculty.