December 17, 2011
"Growing poverty and a shrinking middle class make the federal investment in public education even more important if we want to provide a brighter future for our children."
Statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on Omnibus Spending Bill
WASHINGTON—Growing poverty and a shrinking middle class make the federal investment in public education even more important if we want to provide a brighter future for our children. That's why the AFT applauds Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for their leadership and steadfast support for education funding.
The modest increase in funding for priorities such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's Title I, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Head Start and child care, while welcome, is less than what is needed. We appreciate Congress' efforts to maintain the maximum Pell Grant award, but are concerned about the new eligibility barriers that may prevent low-income students from accessing the program and attending college.
Moving forward, Congress needs to produce a balanced plan that includes revenue increases, so that deeper cuts won't be required in the future. Our schoolchildren are depending on Congress to continue to work together to make education funding a top priority.
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten
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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.