AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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General: Pres. Obama proposed the American Jobs Act to strengthen our economy and create jobs. How would you like to see the money and resources put to work in your community?

Comments: 199

I would like to see more training programs. I would like to see more money for wrap around services in our schools. It is very difficult to educate a broken child. For what ever reason a lot of our students basic needs are not being met. If a child is hungry they are not able to concentrate.

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La Trecha Rice
CTU Local 279
Cleveland, OH

I think the greater crisis is the potential insolvency the US faces. If we collapse as a corporate economy we won't receive a penny of fed dollars for education. And thinking the govt can create jobs is a myth. Hiring people to do jobs that aren't needed is a giveaway pipedream. Work opportunities will only increase when productivity and demand increases. To try to artificially create an active economy will only result in a more disasterous collapse. We as teachers are not suffering. We are paid an excellent wage for a normal day's activity. To ask for more is embarrassing. If we hang tough and support conservative policy, it will fly.

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Mika Timothy
Houston, TX

It is absolutely of the first order that jobs be protected, resumed and created that produce socially useful products - as opposed to those of extreme anti-social value (e.g. wasteful and destructive nuclear submarines). It is obvious that government has to play an active role in this process. Within this context, trillion dollar wars of occupation (including funding of the illegal & immoral Israeli occupation), unjustifiable tax breaks to the super wealthy and corporations, obscene military budgets, etc must be transfomed to serve the American people. AFT should support Occupy Wall St. because a genuine movement is necessary for real change.

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John Phelps
AFT Local FTU
East Hampton, CT

To make a strong America we MUST invest in our country's future...our kids. They should come way before bridges, roads..etc. Focusing on supporting our educational system will bring jobs in many areas besides good teachers, transportation, rebuilding schools...etc. Our children need guidance, discipline, knowledge and strength to be strong people for OUR future as a country, so what is the question?.....

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dean miller
ormond beach, FL

Staffing budget cuts have severely reduced teachers' ability to teach along with a general break down in society. There are more and more children with behavior, emotional, and medical problems. Cutting counselors, behavioral interventionists, and school nurses has been detrimental to education since the teachers have to take on these roles as well. With cutbacks, these personnel don't have the equipment and supplies to do their jobs. How can education occur without what is needed to deal with what we see in our schools? Funding for education and health care is a must.

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Leigh Smith
Tangipahoa Federation of Teachers
Amite, LA

We are expected to prepare students for the 21st Century using buildings and equipment from the beginning of the 20th Century. Schools need to be repaired or replaced to be safe. Personnel cuts are leaving us in unsafe conditions as well. With the severe cuts to education teachers are spending even more money then ever before to get basic supplies for the classroom. We were much better off 20 years ago then we are today. It is time to stop the bipartisianship and work with the community to get the economy working again. Children are the future, show them that we care and fund education NOW.

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Kathy Donato
Osceola County Education Association
Kissimmee, FL

As a special needs teacher in the public school system for almost 30 years, I would like to see more attention paid to disabled students after they age out of the public school system. I would like to open a disabled adult center which focuses on continued functional academics, social skills and most importantly vocational skills. These persons deserve to have a life beyond their public school years. Funding towards this type of endeavor would prove valuable and put jobs in place within our communities as well.

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Christine FULLER
HARLINGEN, TX

More needs to be done to eliminate our need for foreign oil. Alternative fuel needs to become available. (We've been aware of this growing problem for over 40 years!) Improved public transportation would certainly provide more jobs to help grow the economy while helping to improve our air quality and quality of life. No one enjoys sitting in traffic! Our schools are in need of more teachers for smaller class size,teaching assistants,structural repairs,computers,and books. There should be more emphasis on improving instruction and curriculum and less on testing.

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Karen Anderson
Kings Park, NY

Schools MUST reinstate music, art, and industrial arts courses, and rehire teachers for students with individual needs. Once that is complete, rehire the teachers that forced the class sizes to increase. Our biggest resource in teaching is still the teacher. Then we can talk supplies- both traditional books and computer technology!!! We must educate the whole child in each and every case; a whole person is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. The arts are our souls...

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madeline schwan
LVSEA
Dix Hills, NY

It should be spent on creating JOBS or more accurately restoring jobs that were cut and lowering class sizes and loads. Some districts may need to update buildings or professional technology but don't waste tax dollars on new technology toys! Put the priority on people!

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Kathleen Kirchoff
TXPEG
richardson, TX

We are in desperate need of new schools. The school in which I teach is falling apart, paint is peeling off the walls and ceilings, staircases are unsafe, termites have eaten through the wooden structures; and we just keep putting new coats of paint on bad structures. Our children deserve better!

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Mitzi George
Lake Charles, LA

Because of the cuts in the education budget, our district lost over $200,000 dollars. For a small district, that is huge. For the last four years, I have been the school counselor for PreK - 6th grades. Now I am the counselor and testing coordinator for the entire district. Because testing and getting our seniors off to college and careers takes precedence, I will not be able to work with the younger students like I have in the past. I would like to see our district be able to hire another counselor again, and re add some of the other positions that were cut.

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Sidney McLaughlin
Pilot Point, TX

I would like to see more jobs created using alternate forms of energy. This would lessen our dependence on foreign oil.I believe the incentives available currently need to be increased dramatically so average homeowners and municipalities are attracted to this idea. In my area I would like to see windmills erected, falling water energy harnessed, more methane digestors, and an upgrade of the existing power grid.

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Diane McSweeney
STA
MORAVIA, NY

Some of this money needs to be spent on our crumbling infrastructure. Our roadways, our electrical grid, and our water supplies needs to be updated and improved. This would create millions of jobs. We also need to spend in education. Not only in K-12, but also Higher Ed., and training facilities so our workforce can be he most highly educated and most competitive in the world. America's middle class and working poor also need a shot in the arm. We have been left behind in this so-called "recovery", when we are the ones who normally create the demand for goods and services. We are the real job creators.

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Michael Schmitz
Owens Support Staff Union Local #6325
Waterville, OH

Our district has suffered as many as 80 lay offs in the last couple of years. Most of these eliminated positions were classified. These positions need to be restored and our colleagues need to be rehired.

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William Philipps
Local6084
Santa Cruz, CA

We need more teachers and teacher assistants back in our schools. Our lack of staff is not only decreasing our students learning but jeopardizing their safety.

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Celia Graham
United SchoolEmployees of Pasco
Zephyrhills, FL

Earmark a certain portion of education money ($25 per student, for example) for the purchase of new library books every year, and mandate a certified professional librarian in every school, K-12. Don't let this vital resource, which has been proven in dozens of research studies to have a significant positive effect on student achievement, remain at the whims of individual districts and principals. We know what works; let's mandate it.

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Margaret Plotkin
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Elkins Park, PA

I would like to see public works programs involving creating more green spaces (parks, natural areas), which would both create jobs and contribute to improving the environment. South Florida is becoming so developed, the open/green areas are disappearing rapidly. Putting Americans to work creating state and local parks would benefit the entire community and create some protected areas that would not be bought up by developers.

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Oliver Buckton
UFF-FAU
Boca Raton, FL

There needs to be a jobs program which trains and employs young African Americans and latinas/o. The unemployment with these populations is a crime. They can be trained for the emerging green and IT jobs our society needs. The money spent on this type of program can help reduce the law enforcement and prison costs. HIRE YOUNG PEOPLE OF COLOR NOW!

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Kit Holder
glassboro, NJ

I would like to see the American Job Acts money be used to restore full day pre-kindergarten, create smaller class sizes and to reinstate full-time librarians, reading teachers, music, physical education and art teachers, social workers, psychologists and guidance counselors. Politicians and policy makers need to recognize that pre-k sets the foundation for later academic achievement, small class sizes create more opportunities for individualized and differentiated instruction, and non-core courses and support services are a crucial part of a well-rounded educational program.

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Dr. Kara Popiel
Yonkers Federation of Teachers
Irvington, NY

Save teachers' jobs. That's it. They'll spend their paychecks, driving the economy (they pretty much have to, since most aren't paid enough to save very much), and with class sizes topping 40, they're desperately needed.

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Eric Ceresa
EDFT (Local 698)
Eastpointe, MI

We need to: 1. extend unemployment benefits; 2. fund public employment in K-12 education, higher education, state and local government; 3. fund green renewable energy; 4. fund infrastructure; and 5. protect our minimal social safety net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

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Art Hanson
Lansing, MI

I suggest that the president do three things in regard to strengthening education in our country. The following also creates jobs in the field of education. One, provide enough qualified teachers in our nation's schools to make small class sizes a reality. Studies and common sense prove that children learn better when they are given more attention by their instructors. Two, create and support programs like Head Start, which prepare low-income children and set them on the path to learning. Lastly, (three) provide monies for after school tutoring, sports, and enrichment programs. This will help working parents as well as their children.

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Joseph Amato
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

Remodel our antiquated asbestos tiled school, provide adequate seating and tables for all students, provide working computers and printers (ink too) for every classroom and teacher. Paint crosswalks and put up signs for student crossing in front of the main door of the elementary school, provide more funding or access to field trips to expand horizons broaden experiences...

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kathleen marquis
boston teachers union
boston, MA

I want to see the schools financed to cover the needed programs for students. As a teacher last year I spent over a thousand dollars out of pocket for my classroom. I took 18 hours of post grad credit to increase my level and income and am being told I won't get the raise I worked so hard to get.I can no longer afford to pay for things for the room. Yet at every turn there is no money for text books, no money for field trips, no money for supplies. We have got to fund education to allow the students to have what they need to learn the material we are required to teach.

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Pat Ferryman
AFT ABQ
Rio Rancho, NM

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