Press Release

White House Report Shows Consequences of Teacher Layoffs

For Release: 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Janet Bass

AFT’s Weingarten: "These cuts come at a time when we should be increasing our commitment to children and to the public schools that educate 90 percent of them."

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the White House Report, “Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom:”

“The White House report released today, “Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom,” describes the impact of the recession on schools and our economy. It shows unequivocally that the quality of our students’ education—in every community and at every level—has been harmed by the recession and the resulting teacher layoffs and cuts to critical programs. This report spells out the terrible toll that the 300,000 teacher layoffs have wrought: Class sizes have swelled, and programs like early childhood education, art, music and foreign language have been slashed. These cuts come at a time when we should be increasing our commitment to children and to the public schools that educate 90 percent of them. With poverty spiking and student enrollment increasing, it’s more important than ever that every student in our charge is prepared for life, college and career.

“Indeed, this disinvestment, as the report says, “stands in sharp contrast to what has happened during every other post-war recession and recovery under Democratic and Republican presidents alike.”
“President Obama’s American Jobs Act legislation would change this calculus and the trajectory of our children’s future by averting deeper cuts to education by keeping teachers in the classroom, keeping class sizes manageable and preserving programs like early childhood education. We ask Congress to return to work and pass the American Jobs Act. Today’s report makes abundantly clear what is at stake if they fail to act.”

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

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The Parents, Educators and Owners Partnering for Learning in Early-education for the Kids (PEOPLE for the Kids) includes New Mexico Early Educators United, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers; the Quality Early Learning Association, which represents preschool owners; and the OLÉ Working Parents Association, which represents more than 4,000 parents of young children throughout New Mexico.