October 5, 2010
Cynthia Leonor Garza
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On First White House Summit on Community Colleges
Several community college faculty who are also AFT members, including AFT Vice President Sandra Schroeder, participated in today’s summit with Dr. Jill Biden, community college instructor and wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers is pleased that President Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden are leading the charge to make community colleges a crucial link to a better future for millions of Americans and for our country.
Community colleges provide an accessible pathway for students—particularly for low-income and minority students—to realize the American dream. They also enable workers to acquire the skills and education required for jobs in the 21st century. Community colleges now make up the largest and fastest-growing segment of the higher education system; to ensure their students’ success, we must focus on strengthening these institutions. The rich and important dialogue at today’s summit is a great start.
The AFT represents over 175,000 higher education faculty and staff, and about half of these work at community colleges. We look forward to working with the Obama administration to ensure students receive the cradle-to-career education our global economy demands.
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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.