WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement about the proposed education and labor appropriations bill headed for markup in the House of Representatives tomorrow:
“House Democrats’ plan to increase funding for our public schools by $4.4 billion would make an extraordinary difference in the lives of children and their educators. This is a budget to fund our future, and it counters the years of deep disinvestment in our public schools. It would invest in programs that really matter for children and teachers—programs that Betsy DeVos has tried to eliminate, like smaller class sizes, community schools, teacher professional development and after-school programs—as well as in early childhood education, child care and ways to make college more affordable. It would start making good on promises previous presidents and Congress have made to kids who have special needs. And it would focus on equity by targeting resources to our most vulnerable children and high-need schools.
“The investments House Democrats put forward in their budget stand in stark contrast to the deep cuts President Trump and Secretary DeVos are proposing. At a time when 25 states still spend less on public schools than before the Great Recession, and with the teacher uprisings spotlighting how disinvestment has harmed our students, schools and profession, Democrats are stepping up with a plan to reverse a decade of disinvestment. At the same time, Trump and DeVos are doubling down on their agenda to defund and privatize our public schools with a budget that cuts education by 10 percent. Parents, teachers and communities can see who is on the side of kids and public schools. It’s time to fund our future by passing the Democratic budget for our public schools.”