Weingarten: "What they are threatening to do puts at risk the futures and the dreams of kids all over this country. We need to ensure the welfare of the nation's neediest kids and reclaim the promise of public education for all children."
WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Republican congressional actions that could lead to a government shutdown:
"Some extremists who have the ear of the House Republican leadership are making a mockery of our democracy, and in so doing, may cause our economy to spin out into another recession. As a former civics teacher, I find this appalling. What they are threatening to do puts at risk the futures and the dreams of kids all over this country.
"We need to ensure the welfare of the nation's neediest kids and reclaim the promise of public education for all children. A government shutdown, for example, could immediately cut an estimated 19,000 Head Start and Early Head Start spots across 10 states. The effects of the shutdown would compound the billions of dollars in sequestration cuts that affected programs for students with disabilities and disadvantaged students and early childhood education services for low-income children. We need to spend less time talking about a needless shut down and more time figuring out how to end sequestration in 2014 in its entirety.
"The far right wing's craven political brinkmanship is reckless and irresponsible. A shutdown would be terrible for our fragile economy. A brief shutdown would put about a million federal employees out of work; that is enough to undo the last six months of job growth in the private sector. A shutdown of up to a month would reduce real GDP by an estimated 1.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter, while a two-month shutdown would put the economy back into recession. The last recession drove 2.7 million children into poverty."