WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the introduction of the Keep Our Promise to America's Children and Teachers (Keep Our PACT) Act (S. 3699) by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.):
“The unique promise of public education in America is that we commit to teaching every single student in this country, regardless of their family’s income, their ZIP code and their abilities. We owe it to our children to deliver on the promise to fund public schools in low-income communities, and to resource special education services to make sure every kid has an opportunity to succeed.
“Today, the Keep Our PACT Act aims to deliver on this promise. Too many special education programs are understaffed, leaving too many students with special education needs struggling to achieve at grade level, too many students of color attending schools with aging textbooks and crowded classrooms, and too many students with disabilities going to school without the supports they need. The historic underfunding of Title I and the Individual with Disabilities Act has reinforced a separate and unequal education system, leaving a $580 billion hole that has shortchanged the futures of our nation’s most vulnerable students.
“We are grateful to Sen. Van Hollen for his leadership and commitment to our country’s kids and our country’s schools.”