Press Release

AFT Praises, Raises Concerns about President Obama’s FY2015 Budget Proposal

For Release: 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on President Obama's proposed FY2015 budget:

"For Americans who get up every day hoping for a better life for their kids and themselves, today's economy sometimes feels insurmountable. President Obama's budget proposal relieves some of the obstacles to help produce more jobs, equalize income and improve social mobility. We also welcome the president's push to provide equal opportunity to help millions of American children through increased investment in early childhood education, school safety, high schools and other crucially important public education programs. To help mitigate poverty and grow the economy, we hope Congress sees the benefit of the proposed expansion of the earned-income tax credit. Additionally, we are pleased the president has backed off on his chained CPI proposal that would have helped balance the budget on the backs of senior citizens by reducing Social Security benefits.

"While we are pleased with the overall intent of the budget proposal, we are skeptical that a Race to the Top-like competition, which creates winners and losers, is the way to promote equity. Public education should be focused on strengthening teaching and learning for all students and maintaining and improving neighborhood public schools.

"We will work with the administration and Congress to ensure that the federal budget helps reclaim the promise of America and creates opportunities for ordinary Americans to move up the economic ladder of success."

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The AFT represents 1.7 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.