March 29, 2012
Rebuild America Act Offers Bold, Comprehensive Blueprint to
Strengthen Economy, Invest in America's Future
WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the introduction of Senator Harkin’s Rebuild America Act:
"The Rebuild America Act offers a bold, comprehensive blueprint to strengthen our economy and invest in our future. There are few more pressing issues confronting our nation than the limits on opportunity caused by rising income inequality among Americans. The Rebuild America Act reinforces the basic promise that everyone in America deserves a fair shot at the American dream.
"This legislation rejects the harmful, cuts-only approach of the Ryan Republican budget by investing in initiatives that create opportunity for Americans, including creating good jobs, rebuilding our aging infrastructure, strengthening and supporting public education, expanding and rebuilding the middle class, making retirement security a priority by putting private pensions on a strong and secure path for more Americans, and restoring fairness to our tax system.
"The Rebuild America Act recognizes that strong public schools are critical to our growth and success as a nation. It proposes $20 billion to help repair and modernize thousands of public schools, and will help keep teachers in the classroom, not on unemployment lines. The bill also recognizes that in order to prepare students to meet new and challenging college- and career-ready standards, we need to give teachers the tools they need, including professional development aligned to the new standards and time for teachers to plan and collaborate with each other.
"We can no longer afford an approach to our economy that says you're on your own unless you're wealthy or a big corporation. Our country can remain vibrant and strong only if we invest in sustaining and expanding our middle class so that working men and women can support their families, own a home, send their children to college, and save enough to enjoy a secure retirement."
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.