In his first formal address before a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden reflected on the progress of our nation on the eve of his 100th day in office, outlining his plans for continued advances in education, social and environmental justice, health and safety, economic recovery, and more.
High on his list is the American Families Plan, which promises quality, affordable childcare and expanded public education for children before they enter kindergarten and after they graduate high school.
“Access to a free public K-12 education made us the best-educated, best-prepared nation in the world and propelled us to where we got in the 21st century,” he said, noting that adding two years of free, universal, high-quality preschool and two years of free community college would only make us better.
Acknowledging, to extended applause, that First Lady Jill Biden continues to teach, the president applauded her dedication to public education and acknowledged how it has shaped his priorities.
Calling good schools and good jobs “real opportunities for all Americans,” he also expressed strong support for Americans’ right to unionize, reminding listeners, “The middle class built this country, and unions built the middle class.”
“President Biden’s commitment to our students, their teachers, and their families rang clear in his address,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “This is a president who ran on that promise, began investing in public education from the moment he took office, and continues to gain momentum on that and so many other fronts.”
Biden also spoke about goals related to climate change, commonsense gun reform, and racial justice and urged Americans to come together to “prove that democracy still works” and that it is “durable and strong.”
For an NEA timeline of Joe Biden’s accomplishments on behalf of students, teachers, and families, click here.