Washington – NEA President Becky Pringle issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s unveiling of the American Families Plan, a bold and comprehensive proposal aimed at funding critical programs and services for students, families and communities. The American Families Plan is the second proposal by the Biden administration as part of its Build Back Better agenda.
“Most of us want our neighborhood public schools and institutions of higher learning to inspire imagination, cultivate critical thinking and ensure all of our students – regardless of race, gender identity or ZIP code – can live fulfilling lives and reach their true full potential. We applaud President Joe Biden and his administration for prioritizing students and public education by proposing timely and necessary once-in-a-generation funding for services that help families and communities.
“In particular, we welcome federal funding to make prekindergarten and community college free to all, fund child-care, paid time off to care for families and medical leave, health care coverage, increase Pell Grants, lower tuition for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Hispanic Serving Institutions, and address critical teacher shortages. More to the point, the historic funding request to address the teacher shortage as well as increase the teacher pipeline by recruiting educators of color, grow your own programs, and teacher leadership and residencies programs, will go a long way towards making sure our schools reflect the diversity and identity of the communities they serve.
“The American Families Plan that the Biden administration unveiled today will not only make sure that the wealthiest few and corporations contribute their fair share but, most importantly, make sure that students, families, and communities have the resources they need to thrive. For far too long, some politicians have looked the other way as corporations raked in record profits while refusing to contribute to the public schools, roads, health care and community services on which all of us rely.
“We recognize the Biden administration is moving quickly to tackle the challenges he inherited but we know that there is much work to do. This includes transforming America’s inhumane immigration system into one that is more humane, functional and just, and providing free and healthy schools meals to all students so that they are ready to learn while cultivating healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime, to name a few.
“We are stronger when we come together across race and place to face shared challenges and develop collective solutions. We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to support and build on the American Families Plan and the Build Back Better agenda to ensure we have the resources to truly support all of our families and communities. No exceptions.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.