Today, AFT President Randi Weingarten’s column “A Great Need, A Greater Investment” appears in the New York Times. The column addresses the efforts of educators to provide students with the great education they need—at a time of increasing poverty for many students and their families, mounting budget cuts, and the prospect of even more drastic cuts to come. President Weingarten urges Congress to act on President Obama’s jobs bill, which is intended to address crucial infrastructure needs, put Americans back to work and ensure that students will have the teachers they need. A few excerpts are reproduced below, and you can find the full text of the column here.
A Great Need, A Greater Investment
America was founded, and has flourished, as a land of opportunity—a place where, by working hard and seizing opportunities, each generation can do better than the last. But this very American notion seems frayed, as the effects of economic recession have taken a terrible toll on our kids and the schools they depend upon. …

In the classrooms I visited across the country on the opening days of the school year, nobody was missing a beat. I witnessed serious, interesting instruction, with students and educators alike focused and engaged. …

At the same time, I saw many threats to teachers’ best efforts. Most everywhere I went, I observed large class sizes; met educators struggling to keep art, music and sports programs for their students; and heard fears that things could get even worse. …
All this cries out for quick congressional action on the economic plan President Obama has proposed, which wisely calls for investment in jobs and programs that will address America’s rebuilding and infrastructure needs, including the repair and modernization of schools, and ensure that students will have the teachers they need.
In unity,
Kris Havens
AFT Communications Director
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