The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
April 19, 2007

Mrs. Bush Remarks at a Roundtable Discussion with Teach for America Teachers
Willie Mae's Restaurant
New Orleans, Louisiana

11:21 A.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: This restaurant's opening is another sign of the way New Orleans is coming back, and so we're really, really thrilled. And thank you so much, Willie Mae Seaton, for letting us be here. Appreciate it a lot.

And then, for the press who are in the room with us, all the teachers that are around this table are Teach for America teachers. We're going to have a roundtable and talk about ways we can attract more teachers to New Orleans and to the Gulf Coast. Right now, New Orleans needs about 100 teachers by next fall as more schools reopen. They think they're going to have a shortage of over 600 teachers.

So I want to encourage teachers, especially young teachers from around the country, to think about moving here, to come here and work in these schools here in New Orleans and then across the Gulf Coast.

It won't be easy. Housing is not really easy to find. It will be interesting to see where everyone is living when we talk later. But on the other hand, I think you'll find it really one of the most rewarding things you could possibly do.

I was a young teacher once myself, teaching in an inner-city school in Houston. And my daughter Jenna is a teacher, teaching in Washington, D.C., in a charter school. And I know what a satisfying life teaching can give somebody. So this is a chance, for the rest of the day, here at the lunch and then the high school that we're going to visit next, to talk about choosing teaching as a career, for people to choose teaching, and especially to reach out to people around the United States to come here to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to teach next fall. Get started.

END 11:23 A.M. CDT

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