We issue this joint statement in support of public education and our continued commitment to the highest quality public education for all students.
Public education is the foundation of our 21st-century democracy. Our public schools are where our students come to be educated in the fullest sense of that word, including as citizens of this great country. We strive every day to make every public school a place where we prepare the nation’s young people to contribute to our society, economy, and citizenry.
Ninety percent of American children attend public schools. We call on local, state, and federal lawmakers to prioritize support for strengthening our nation’s public schools and empowering local education leaders to implement, manage and lead school districts in partnership with educators, parents, and other local education stakeholders and learning communities, and provide support such as counseling, extra/co-curricular activities, and mental health supports that will help students engage in learning;
We support and value inclusive and safe high-quality public schools where children learn to think critically, problem solve, and build relationships. We support an environment where all students can succeed beginning in the earliest years, regardless of their zip code, the color of their skin, their native language, their gender/gender identity, their immigration status, their religion, or their social standing.
We promote advancing equity and excellence in public education, and implementing continuous improvement and evidence-based practices. Every child has the right to an education that helps them reach their full potential and to attend schools that offer a high quality educational experience.
We support stable, equitable, predictable, and adequate funding for great public schools for every student in America so that students have inviting classrooms; have well-prepared and supported educators, including teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals, who provide a well-rounded and complete curriculum and create joy in learning; have class sizes small enough to allow one-on-one attention; and have access to support services such as health care, nutrition, and after-school programs for students who need them.
We believe that public tax dollars should only support public schools that are publicly governed and are accountable to parents, educators, and communities. In no way should local, state, or federal funding be taken away from public schools and given to private schools that are unaccountable to the public.
We reiterate our love for public education and pride in our public schools. We will continue to promote the promise and purpose of public education, to elevate the great things happening every day in our public schools, and to engage communities around strategies that have helped students succeed. We affirm our commitment to fight for resources and supports for public schools, and will be steadfast in our efforts to protect students and their families, public schools, and our communities from any policies that would undermine these values.
This the 5th day of September, 2017
AASA, The School Superintendents Association
American Federation of Teachers
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary Principals
National Education Association