Press Release

AFT's Randi Weingarten and California Federation of Teachers’ Jeff Freitas on California State Disability Insurance Program

For Release: 

Saturday, May 11, 2019


Elena Temple

WASHINGTON—In response to reports of a San Francisco educator being forced to cover the cost of her substitute as a result of lack of disability insurance, AFT President Randi Weingarten and California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas issued the following statements:

AFT President Weingarten said:

"This is just plain wrong. Teachers subsidize our students' education on a daily basis; they should not face perilous financial drain when they suffer a debilitating illness. This tragic situation—a teacher with cancer having to fund her own substitute—reveals just how much we’ve neglected funding public education and healthcare in this country. Educators fight every day for the resources they need to take care of kids, and when an educator is fighting for her life, the resources to make sure her students are taken care of ought to be there. Ninety-one percent of parents send their kids to public schools, and they want those public schools to look out both for their kids and the educators who teach them.” 

CFT President Jeff Freitas said:

"The simple fact is that California is 41st in the nation in per-pupil spending. Situations like this would be completely avoidable if the state of California fully funded our schools. That's the bottom line."

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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.