Press Release

AFT Statement On Senate Passage of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

For Release: 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Contact:

Cynthia Leonor Garza
202/879-4447
cgarza@aft.org


WASHINGTON-The economic recovery bill passed today by the U.S. Senate is an important step toward stimulating the economy and bringing needed assistance to states, workers and families reeling from the effects of our struggling economy.

The AFT commends the Senate for acting quickly on passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and including funding for important programs like Title I, IDEA and Pell Grants. However, there is still much work to be done to make this bill the lifeline ordinary Americans need so desperately right now. The AFT strongly urges both senators and representatives to support the critical funding levels in the bill passed last week by the House of Representatives, as they work out a final bill to send to the president.

We know Congress and the White House recognize that strengthening learning opportunities for children and college students is key to boosting the vitality of our economy. Funding for a state fiscal stabilization fund, as provided for in the House bill, is needed to help states avoid draconian cuts that could eliminate access to proven and promising programs to improve student achievement; delay the purchase of up-to-date textbooks and state-of-the-art technology; create much larger class sizes, overcrowding and attendant disciplinary problems; and lead to higher tuition rates at public universities. States' investments in education will help maintain and create new jobs for thousands of educators, nurses, construction workers and college students, as well as ensure that generations of high school and college graduates are fully prepared for the challenges of the 21st-century workplace.

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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.