August 5, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, On Senate Passage of Jobs Bill
WASHINGTON—Today, every Democratic senator and two Republican senators stood up for our students and for those who depend upon vital public services. Make no mistake about it—without this funding, students in the fall will face larger class sizes, shortened school days and weeks, cuts in classes and programs, and fewer teachers. This would be a dreadful start to a new school year. Additionally, states confronting historic revenue shortfalls will have to make a new round of cuts to vital public services in their communities.
We want to recognize in particular the persistence and commitment of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in fighting for this much-needed assistance.
The AFT also applauds and appreciates the bold leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who moved quickly to call the House back into session next Tuesday to pass this critical legislation and send it the president for his signature. Bringing House members back to Washington underscores the importance of getting this assistance out to school districts and states as soon as possible and the leadership’s strong commitment to make this happen.
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The AFT represents 1.5 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.