Joe and Jill Biden to attend American Federation of Teachers town hall in Houston
Paul Morigi/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — As he continues his push for union support, former Vice President Joe Biden will attend a town hall in Houston hosted by the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday afternoon.
During the event, Biden is expected to unveil his education policy which will include a plan to address teacher pay, direct more resources to schools, greater investment in early childhood education to help kids bridge the gap into elementary school and beyond and a focus on helping provide middle and high school students careers, according to a campaign official.
The town hall is part of the union’s 2020 endorsement process for its 1.7 million members. Biden will be joined by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, a veteran educator, and the couple will attend the town hall along with AFT President Randi Weingarten, Houston Federation of Teachers President Zeph Capo, union members and students.
Biden is the latest 2020 presidential candidate to participate in a teachers’ union town hall with Weingarten. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tim Ryan, and Sen. Kamala Harris have all participated in events with the union.
More broadly, a number of Democratic presidential candidates have zeroed in on education reform as an area rich with possibilities with plans that aim to address issues of equity, teacher pay and school resources.
Biden is one of several candidates, including Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Harris, D-Calif., and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who have released plans to increase teacher pay and reform public education as a whole. From coast-to-coast, teachers have been striking over the past few years calling for higher wages and an increase in funding to public schools – some of the efforts proving victorious in cities like Denver where they negotiated an 11.7 percent raise for next year.
In addition to addressing teacher pay, Sanders is also calling for a temporary halt to public funding directed toward nonprofit charter school expansion and an outright ban on for-profit charter institutions. Under his plan, financial disbursements could be restored after schools are audited to probe the impact of their growth, but no public money will be directed toward new schools.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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