January 27, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On President Obama’s State of the Union Address
[Note: This statement is being released before President Obama addresses the nation at 9 p.m.]
WASHINGTON—With the possible exception of Wall Street, nowhere in America have people been unaffected by our nation’s economic crisis. In these tough times, we appreciate that President Obama is trying to shield children from budget cuts that affect their schools. He understands that kids don’t get a second chance to receive a good education and that our country’s future depends on the quality of education we provide for our children.
Just as we acknowledge that the president wants to do everything he can to protect children, we also have to acknowledge that when budget cuts weaken the safety net, there are real and harmful effects on children and their families.
We will work with the White House and Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. After eight years of No Child Left Behind, it’s time to pass a new law that will give every child access to the high-quality public education needed to succeed in college, work and life.
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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.