State of the Classroom: President Diann Woodard’s Response to the State of the Union

On Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address. In response, AFSA President Diann Woodard released the following statement:

“We appreciate the president’s remarks highlighting the importance of education. AFSA strongly supports increasing our nation’s investment in education, particularly early education, as it is fundamental to closing the opportunity gaps we face as a nation and overcoming inequality. And, while the president did not specifically mention the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), AFSA believes reauthorization of this law must focus on supporting school leaders, increase resources to schools that need it most, eliminate unnecessary high stakes testing, and expanding access to early learning programs in order to ensure all children have access to a quality education,”

“We applaud the president’s call to strengthen, not weaken unions. We hope Congress will hear the president’s message, and work to provide working Americans with a voice on the job, strengthen collective bargaining rights and benefits, and support policies that increase wages. This, combined with the president’s call to make child care more affordable, triple child care tax credits, increase the minimum wage, and expand paid leave to working Americans, will truly help all of our nation’s working families improve their economic standing,”

“We also support the president’s proposal to make college more affordable for all students, especially low-income and non-traditional students. Everyone knows that a college diploma is essential in today’s workforce. Unfortunately, too many students and families are saddled with mountains of debt after college. The president understands that education has always been the key to success, and his plan will help make this dream a reality for millions more,”

“Finally, it is critically important that we strengthen workers’ retirement security. Traditional pensions have been under attack in states across the country, leaving many workers with less income to save for retirement. If we are truly serious about ending inequality, we must end tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and urge Congress to commit to strengthening, not cutting, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits,”

“We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to implement these commonsense proposals that will improve the lives of working families, their children, and all Americans.”