July 14, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On White House Initiative To Invest in Community Colleges
The White House announces 10-year, $12 billion program
to support community colleges.
WASHINGTON—For many students, community college offers an important pathway to attain higher education, to launch careers or to retool for new work opportunities. President Obama's $12 billion initiative will help boost the number of high school graduates who would be able to receive a college education, and will fill a tremendous need to fund improved courses and facilities at the two-year institutions.
AFT member John McDonald, president of the Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers, met with President Obama today to offer support for the proposal, which the president unveiled in a speech at Macomb Community College in Michigan.
The most effective way to develop and implement reforms and other improvements on campuses is to ensure that faculty and staff are engaged in shaping those initiatives and programs. As I said yesterday to more than 2,500 educators at the AFT's educational issues conference, when we work collaboratively with everyone who has an interest in improving education, we can make real and sustainable changes.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 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.