January 21, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Confirmation of Former Gov. Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture
The Senate confirmed former Gov. Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture on Jan. 20.
WASHINGTON-The American Federation of Teachers has had the pleasure of getting to know and work with former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. We congratulate him on his Senate confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture.
Secretary Vilsack will oversee school lunch and child nutrition programs, which are vital to the health and academic performance of low-income schoolchildren. We know that these programs could not be in better hands.
Secretary Vilsack recently served as co-chair of the advisory board of the AFT Innovation Fund, the AFT's philanthropic foundation that supports collaborative reform efforts in public schools. While we miss having him in that role, we look forward to continuing to work with him on improving the lives of our neediest students.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 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.