AFT President Randi Weingarten on Proposal to Merge Education and Labor Departments
WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Trump administration’s plan to merge the departments of Education and Labor:
“In any normal administration, combining some of the core functions of the education and labor departments might make sense in terms of bringing together programs that educate children and prepare Americans for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Having workforce development—also known as adult education—in one department, and K-12, career and technical education, and college education in another, may not have made sense. But there is nothing normal about this administration, so we’re extremely skeptical of the motivations here given how hostile Betsy DeVos and President Trump have been to public education, workers and unions. It seems like this move is just cover for continuing their agenda to go after public schools, gut civil rights and equity protections, provide support for predatory student loan companies and prey on workers. We strongly oppose this move, and Congress should reject it.”
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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.