National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel called the debate over the debt ceiling a "reckless game of political brinksmanship," but said a default would have been a catastrophe.
The NEA voiced concerns about whether a bipartisan congressional committee, created through the agreement, would protect funding for student financial aid and other education programs going forward. And Van Roekel suggested in a statement that the deal was tilted in favor of protecting wealthy Americans from tax increases—a view shared by many Democrats—and will result in government services' being slashed at the federal and state levels.
"It's offensive to the cafeteria workers, librarians, and teachers who got pink slips as state budgets dried up," he said, "and it's offensive to the students they served who will soon be piling in to overcrowded classrooms, riding longer bus routes to school, and will find narrowed curriculums when the school bell rings in a few weeks."
I guess that when the economy suffers, just about everyone suffers... government employees alongside small business owners, blue collar workers, etc. It's awful to think that students are also part of that list.
I guess that the idea of trickle down economics - keeping more money in the pockets of business and the wealthy in the hopes that they will use the money to provide more goods at lower prices and more jobs to middle and lower class individuals - is A theory of economics. I heard another theory somewhere, though, that makes more sense to me. That when money is placed in the hands of low or middle income citizens (including myself), that far more of that money ends up going directly back into the economy rather than when money goes into the hands of high-income citizens, who can afford to save a greater portion.
Anyway, I think we need to do whatever it will take (including raising taxes) to keep classrooms from becoming too crowded. While there are some students who can learn simply from listening to the teacher and then practicing, a number of students need direct contact and frequent check-ins in order to "get it" each day. I'm not a member, but I'm with the NEA on this one.