Cross-posted from the White House Blog.
Destiny Wheeler wants Congress to pass the American Jobs Act now. The 16-year-old wrote to President Obama last month, and explained that the rough economy was making it “hard to see myself pushing forward and putting my family in a better position.”
The President was moved by the Georgia high school junior’s plea, and referenced her letter in his October 1 weekly address. In it, Destiny wrote about her fears that despite her hard work, the caliber of her education will seem “trivial” compared to her peers in other countries. “The American Jobs Act,” she wrote “gives me hope that I might start to receive a better education, that one day job opportunities will be open for me to grasp and that one day my personal American Dream will be reached.”
In a follow-up conversation, Destiny said it wasn’t just concern for her own future that compelled her to write to the President for the first time, but the Jobs Acts’ emphasis on modernizing schools across the country. “I am mostly focused on what I see in other schools. In some schools there will be tons of students and only 3 computers and one of them doesn’t even work. You modernize schools and you help kids move forward.” Her own school, Destiny said, does have enough computers for students to use in class.
President Obama is well aware of the negative effects the economy is having on our students. “Here in America, we are laying off teachers in droves. It makes no sense, and it has to stop,” President Obama said today in Texas. “Congress should pass this jobs bill so we can put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong.”
America’s education system has always been one of this country’s greatest sources of strength and global economic competitiveness, as well as the engine of incredible progress in science, technology, and the arts. Today’s students will not get the training they need for the high-skilled jobs of today, or for the opportunities of the future, without investments in a world-class education system.
Today, the White House released a report, Teacher Jobs at Risk, outlining how the Administration’s efforts – including the American Jobs Act – will keep teachers in the classroom, strengthen our schools and improve the local economy in communities across the country.The American Jobs Act will support nearly 400,000 education jobs, preventing layoffs of educators and allowing thousands more to be hired or rehired. In addition, the President’s plan will modernize at least 35,000 public school buildings and community college campuses, which is the element of the plan that so appeals to Destiny Wheeler, and is giving her renewed hope for her own future and that of students like her across the country.
“Please Mr, President,” she wrote, “continue your support for this Bill, it means so much to me and my family to know there is someone in government looking out for the common citizen.”