WASHINGTON—March 25-29 is Public Schools Week, a time when the nation comes together to celebrate one of our greatest values: the promise of public education. The AFT is proud to join educators, parents, community advocates, businesses and others in celebrating the schools that 91 percent of American students attend. We celebrate not just to lift up the great things happening in our public schools, but to call for strengthening all of them, including providing the necessary investment.
AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement:
“Public schools in America are foundational to our democracy, and to our economy. They are the only institution that promises to help all children—regardless of who they are or where they’re from—realize their dreams and aspirations. And every day, educators across this country devote themselves to making our public schools safe, welcoming spaces where kids can learn and thrive.
“Our public schools prepare the next generation of artists, engineers, linguists and athletes; our schools sit at the center of our communities, bringing people together to make life better. Over the last year and a half, while educators around the country have walked out of their classrooms to demand more investment in public schools, a record number of parents and allies have stood with them.
“That’s why the AFT has launched the Fund Our Future campaign, a nationwide effort to build on the momentum of educators, parents and communities coming together to demand adequate and sustainable investment in our public schools. Neither demography nor geography can dictate destiny. Opportunity must.
“And it’s why we fight, so that students—particularly our most vulnerable and at-risk children—have the resources they need to succeed, and schools where they feel nurtured and safe. We fight so that every school in this country has access to appropriate and up-to-date textbooks and instructional resources, counselors and nurses, and manageable class sizes. And we call on federal legislators to fulfill the promises made by Congress, including supporting the bipartisan Full Funding for IDEA bill being introduced by U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Pat Roberts, and led by Rep. Jared Huffman in the House.
“This week, and every week, we fight to fund our future, so every public school can be a place where parents want to send their kids, teachers want to teach, and children are engaged.”