Press Release

In Speech, Cantor Ignores Needs of Philly Students

For Release: 

Monday, September 23, 2013


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten responds to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's speech on education that he delivered today at a charter school in Philadelphia:

"Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor did not spend one minute addressing the needs of Philadelphia students, whose schools have been stripped to the bone and are without guidance counselors, nurses, extracurricular activities and even desks. Cantor did not spend one minute asking Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to release the $45 million of federal funds meant for Philadelphia public schools that he continues to hold hostage. He said nothing about how Philadelphia teachers should deal with students who will come to school hungry if his cuts to food stamps become reality.

"Are political leaders so out of touch that they can use a school system in crisis as a backdrop to peddle a school privatization scheme? No matter what you believe about vouchers, they will do nothing to help even one student in Philadelphia in this moment, during this school year."

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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.