Calling public education "a civil right, a shared responsibility," NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi urged AFL-CIO delegates to support a resolution demanding a greater investment in education programs from pre-K through post-graduate levels.
"Quality public education for every child is not a privilege but a civil right- one that has been denied to too many for too long," said Iannuzzi, a delegate to the AFL-CIO national convention. "Every child deserves an opportunity to achieve the American Dream ... We all know that quality public education is a gateway into the middle class and the ability to maintain that level of economic stability."
The resolution, submitted by the American Federation of Teachers, notes government has a full time responsibility to create and fully fund the elements necessary to create the opportunity for every student to achieve the American Dream. To achieve this, Iannuzzi called for: quality universal early childhood education; full funding of need-based education programs; community schools that focus on student needs and student success; and a significant increase in funding for secondary education, making community colleges, vocational schools and college study affordable for all. "Sisters and brothers, I ask for your support for this resolution so that we can finally fully address closing the achievement gap... and once and for all guarantee an equal educational opportunity for very child," said Iannuzzi, an AFT vice president.
The resolution was approved overwhelmingly.