AFT President Weingarten Reacts to Biden’s Budget to Boost Middle Class and Infrastructure
Sarah Hager Mosby
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget, which would invest in infrastructure, education, healthcare and more. The president’s budget proposal would push federal spending to its highest sustained levels since World War II:
“President Joe Biden released a budget proposal today that backs up his pledge to the American people when he took office. The Biden-Harris budget, much like the American Rescue Plan, puts working families at the center of the work to rebuild our communities, grow our economy and offer every American an opportunity to build a better life. This budget proposal, which incorporates the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan, reflects a commitment to invest in the things that affect our daily lives, including public education, mental health services and public health systems, rural and infrastructure support, gun violence prevention, housing, and climate initiatives. It’s a signal that the things that matter to everyday people are truly the things that matter to the government we elected.
“The 16 percent boost in domestic spending includes more than doubling Title I funding with a $20 billion increase, added investments in child care and Head Start, and a $3.1 billion increase toward fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These resources will help tackle systemic inequities that have plagued some of our most vulnerable students and will provide the funding to enable educators and school staff to return to in-person schooling and give our students the support they need. The budget proposal also includes a significant one-time increase to Pell Grants as a down payment on doubling those grants, and includes bold, robust proposals to address college affordability and our country’s student debt crisis.
“The challenges of our time require dedicated investment in the policies that matter to Americans. Unfortunately, Republicans talk the talk of populism, but their actions are far more protective of those who benefited from Trump’s tax cuts. We aren’t going to nickel and dime our way to world-class infrastructure, better public schools, affordable healthcare, and jobs that can support a family and fuel economic growth and prosperity. As the appropriations process moves forward, we hope the spirit of President Biden’s effort to truly fund our future remains intact.”
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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.