WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the introduction of the Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act (H.R.7204):
“The DIPLOMA Act recognizes that schools are more than just the places where kids go to study textbooks and take tests—they are safe spaces where kids can access personalized attention, a hot meal, or the healthcare or recreational opportunities they may not be able to get at home. These supports and services, along with a strong academic program and deep community engagement are so important in our public schools; they represent all the things kids need to succeed in life, in the classroom and beyond it.
“As educators, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of a sustained, holistic approach to student achievement: We care for the whole child, because we know that schooling is more than a grade or test scores—it’s preparing kids to be engaged citizens throughout their lives.
“This legislation shares our vision for public education in America that goes beyond the four walls of the school building. Most important, it acknowledges the impact of economic challenges on student learning and emphasizes the value of educators working together with parents, community and other partners to tackle the unique problems of the students and families they serve, focusing on meeting kids’ needs physically and emotionally, and tailoring lessons specific to the issues in a given neighborhood.
“We are grateful for Rep. Judy Chu’s vision, and are proud to stand with her as a member of the AFT family in supporting this important bill.”
# # # #