AFSA President Responds to Obama’s State of the Union

On Tuesday, January 12th, President Obama delivered the final State of the Union address for his presidency. In response, AFSA President Diann Woodard issued the following statement:

“We applaud the president for his remarks emphasizing the importance of education and training for all Americans. We cannot reach our full potential as a nation until we make investing in education, from birth through higher education, a top priority. We agree with the president that all children should have access to high quality Pre-K, opportunities to develop skills critical for the workforce, to increase their access to technology and computer skills, and for every student who wishes to attend college should have an affordable option to do so,”

“In addition, we appreciate the president’s mention of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). AFSA worked diligently on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and agree that it is an important step in the right direction for public education. We also agree with the president that recruiting and supporting more great teachers for our kids is vital. It is just as critical that we recruit and support school leaders, and to provide them with professional development specific to their job. We are pleased ESSA includes unprecedented language that allows for these opportunities, and AFSA will be working with our locals to see that their respective states take advantage of them,”

“We also commend the president for his remarks in support of working people. All workers deserve the right to collectively bargain, and to receive a fair wage, quality benefits, job security, and respect on the job. AFSA supports the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy Act (WAGE), which strengthens protections for working people who join together with their co-workers to win improvements at work, while discouraging employer retaliation against workers for exercising their rights and provide prompt and fair remedies. We look forward to supporting the AFL-CIO’s efforts to make certain Congress understands the importance of these issues,”

“Finally, we must strengthen – not weaken – Social Security and Medicare. AFSA appreciates the president’s statement that these programs are more important than ever. Traditional pensions continue to fall under attack in states across the country, leaving workers with less stability in their retirement. All workers deserve to retire with dignity, and with the benefits they have earned.”