A new White House report that describes the impact of the recession on schools and our economy shows unequivocally that the quality of our students' education—in every community and at every level—has been harmed by the recession and the resulting teacher layoffs and cuts to critical programs, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.
"Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom," spells out the terrible toll that the 300,000 teacher layoffs have wrought, Weingarten says. "Class sizes have swelled, and programs like early childhood education, art, music and foreign language have been slashed. These cuts come at a time when we should be increasing our commitment to children and to the public schools that educate 90 percent of them. With poverty spiking and student enrollment increasing, it's more important than ever that every student in our charge is prepared for life, college and career.
"Indeed, this disinvestment, as the report says, 'stands in sharp contrast to what has happened during every other post-war recession and recovery under Democratic and Republican presidents alike.'
"President Obama's American Jobs Act legislation would change this calculus and the trajectory of our children's future by averting deeper cuts to education by keeping teachers in the classroom, keeping class sizes manageable and preserving programs like early childhood education. We ask Congress to return to work and pass the American Jobs Act. This report makes abundantly clear what is at stake if they fail to act." [AFT press release]
August 19, 2012