AFL-CIO Statement on Public Education:
Public education is how we help our children have a bright future. It is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right. The AFL-CIO is committed to high-quality public education that builds skills and knowledge and helps children reach their greatest potential. It fosters teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to land good jobs and help the United States compete in the global economy. We need to make sure all kids have access to equal resources, including computers, smaller class sizes, nurses, counselors and support staff.
But instead of investing in the comprehensive services and support our children deserve, politicians have taken money away from public schools to fund private school voucher programs and charter schools, which lack public accountability and oversight, and often fail to meet the educational and developmental needs of our most vulnerable children. The privatization of public schools, and attacks on the bargaining rights of public school teachers and personnel, are sold as altruistic and in the best interests of our children but if you scratch the surface and follow the money, you’ll find only empty promises for our children and fatter bank accounts for the wealthy.
The AFL-CIO will continue to work with state elected officials, local school boards and local governments to ensure the following for educators, school employees, communities and parents:
- A voice to work together, not only to protect and defend our public schools from these attacks, but also to ensure our public schools continue to be a beacon of hope and democracy.
- The shared goals of equitable education for all students, freedom to teach honest history, diversity and bringing students together around common values.
- Resources to expand community schools and wraparound services.
- New pathways for students, including career and technical education, so that all students can succeed and have bright futures.
- A safe, welcoming environment where students, teachers, paraprofessionals and other school employees can feel secure.