WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Trump administration’s budget proposal:
“This budget doesn’t fund the future; it does quite the opposite, forfeiting children by yet again cutting the education budget while safeguarding the tax cuts given to the wealthy last year. President Trump and Secretary DeVos have made a choice with this budget—enriching those who are rich and who don’t want for anything, on the backs of our children. Even their so-called priorities, career and technical education and child care, aren’t funded in a meaningful way. By eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, they are sending a message that public service doesn’t matter. Tell that to the communities that went through hurricanes and fires and want their children to succeed. How could millionaires like DeVos and Trump contemplate saddling students with even more than the $1.5 trillion dollars of student debt they already have? Public Service Loan Forgiveness should be expanded, not slashed, and we should be ensuring those who qualify can get the relief they need. And their callous cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will make seniors and families sicker and poorer.
“Rather than increase funding for kids with special needs or for those who live below the poverty line in both rural and urban America, or addressing the issues raised in their own safety report, DeVos once again seeks to divert funding for private purposes in the name of ‘choice.’ However, if they listened to parents, they would hear that, overwhelmingly, parents want well-funded public schools as their choice. By assaulting public education again, Trump and DeVos are defying the will of parents, educators and the American people who continue to march, rally and even strike to secure the investment our children and their public schools desperately need.
“While the administration abandons children and families, I’m in Texas today with thousands of educators, parents and students demanding an end to this scarcity agenda that defunds our public schools in favor of private alternatives and more tax cuts for the rich. It’s time to fund our future, and this movement will not rest until we get the investment in what our children, all children, need—so they cannot simply dream their dreams but achieve them.”