WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the Senate’s latest agreement on a COVID-19 stimulus package:
“While the plan isn’t perfect, and more must be done to protect workers’ pensions and replenish state coffers, this is a huge shot in the arm for workers and families. It helps people experiencing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, including states and localities that will be crushed by the decrease in tax revenue and right now are facing huge safety expenditures. It gets critical resources to our healthcare providers and healthcare systems; helps schools support students, particularly those with disabilities and English language learners; and provides immediate assistance with unemployment insurance, as well as money for important needs—from stemming foreclosures to buying groceries. The crisis facing our communities will affect every corner of our lives: the way we educate our children, access healthcare and provide essential services that keep our economy strong.
“As we adjust to our new normal, we must also plan for a day when we will return to our classrooms, our offices and our lives, in an economy very different from the one we previously knew. We cannot once again suffer a decade of neglecting our public schools and services, balancing state budgets on the backs of educators and other working people. That makes this stimulus plan’s investments all the more crucial, as we consider the long fight ahead to mitigate the damage this crisis will have on the things we’ve fought for—nurses and counselors in every public school, trauma resources, lunch programs and other wraparound services—all of which will do wonders to support families in the weeks and months to come.
“In the absence of leadership from the Trump administration, congressional Democrats stayed at the table to make this bill better. Sen. Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues have shown an unwavering commitment to the well-being of the American people during this crisis. We thank them for listening to our concerns and will keep working closely with them, not just on this rescue package but on the mounting needs that are still ahead. We are grateful for their willingness to do the important work of governing when the country needs it most.”