tv Pres. Biden Delivers Remarks at NEA Conference CSPAN July 10, 2021 7:33pm-8:01pm EDT
he was a man who told the truth. he told what politicians really would prefer not to see in the newspapers, and he tried to get behind the news and tell people what was really going on in washington. he ruffled a lot of feathers, especially presidents of the united states, united states senators, and assorted other politicians. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a." you can also listen to "q&a" as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. >> president biden spoke at the national education association's annual meeting in washington. first lady jill biden, who is a
teacher and a member of the nea, also addressed the gathering. hello. you know, last year, i told you if joe became president, you would have one of your own in the white house. [applause] and here we are. you helped make this real. so, thank you nea. [applause] i have never been more proud to call myself an educator. i hope that is your first lady, i will make you proud, as well. [applause] when the world as we knew it
shut down last year, people across this country wondered, you know, how will we keep our children learning? how will we stop kids from going hungry? who will support parents? but you did not wonder. you got to work. i saw it with my own eyes as i crisscrossed this country and met with educators just like you. the cafeteria workers who spend long hours making sandwiches for hungry families. the teacher who re-taught her lessons each night for a student whose siblings use the family computer during the day. the bus driver who drove to wi-fi hotspots, to neighborhoods with no connections. the counselor who took call
after call from parents in tears just trying to juggle it all. america's students and families faced a crisis like never before. they needed champions like never before. and they found there champions in you. [applause] you pushed through the chaos and adapted overnight. you met families where they were and reimagined what a classroom could be. you spoke out for safely reopening schools and more student support. you carried families through the darkest year in modern history with patients, compassion, and care.
and you did it all while you worried about your own family's health and education and safety. with all of my heart and on behalf of millions of students and families, thank you for being the heroes we needed. thank you for answering this call. and now, it is my great pleasure to introduce someone who makes us all proud, our union president, becky pringle. [applause] >> nea, you know, i have been introduced by many nea members. but how cool is it that i was
just introduced by an nea member who just happens to be the first lady of the united states of america? [applause] thank you so much, dr. jill. not only for that wonderful introduction, but thank you so much for always, always in an unwavering manner, standing up for our students, speaking up for the people who have dedicated their lives to educating america's students, are incredible, phenomenal educators. thank you so much, dr. jill biden. it is such an honor, nea, to welcome to the stage a man that
really doesn't need any introduction because we spent a great deal of time talking about him all over this country, all over this country. in just six months, he has kept his commitments. [applause] six months. his unwavering commitment to our students and to educators, to unions, to racial and social justice which we at the nea understand his education justice. [applause] president biden has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the shared values that we all hold dear. freedom and fairness.
equity and equality. it gives me so much pleasure and i am so very honored to welcome and introduce to you the president of these united states of america, president joe biden. [applause] pres. biden: hello, everyone. they tell me there are a few people out there watching. a couple thousand. look. before i begin my formal comments, as jill and your president spoke, it reminded me of two things. one is that because of your help, because we were able to pass the american rescue plan, we were able to get millions of
shots in people's arms and provide vaccines around the world and change the circumstances. this week, this friday, they announced of the new employment figures. another 800,000-some jobs created this week. we have created more jobs since you got me sworn and that any president in american history in the same timeframe. we are in a situation where we are doing things that i think are going to fundamentally change the trajectory of this country. i told you a long time ago, it is not just the nea and unions, it is about building america from the middle up in the middle out. not trickling down. there is a lot we can do, a lot more we can do. folks, you know the projected growth rate before we started, i just was going over this earlier this morning, was to be half of what it is now. it is expected to be over 7.2%
the economy is going to grow this year. that means thousands and thousands and thousands and millions of jobs, and we are just getting started. i want to thank you, madam president, and congratulate you on your first representative assembly of the nea. [applause] and jill and i wanted to congratulate you all on the 100th anniversary of this convening. notwithstanding rumors, i was not at the first convening. [laughter] the nea is one of america's indispensable organizations. i'm not just saying that because the first lady is a member. by the way, i noticed -- jill top full-time -- taught full-time this semester. i watched her getting ready to
teach her classes and going back to school herself, learning how to work online and rapidly work online and to teach online. it gave me an appreciation firsthand that i thought i had, but i would not have had had i had not seen it. she was working for five hours a day getting ready to teach, putting her lesson plans together. a different way. you all went through that, all of you went through that. again, i'm not saying this because of something jill -- i would, in truth, i would be sleeping in the lincoln bedroom alone if i did not support the nea and that is not where we sleep, we don't sleep in the lincoln bedroom, i would be sent down to it -- as jill always says, teaching is not what she does, it is who she is. it is who all of you are. our children are the kite strings upon which our national ambitions are lifted aloft and
your profession helps them believe they can do anything. for that and so much more, we just wanted to thank you. thank you all for what you do and what you continue to do. president pringle, you and i have something in common. we both took our current roles at a time of incredible challenge and incredible opportunity. over the last year, the entire country has witnessed the extraordinary dedication and resolve of the nea members, teachers, professionals, who had to be not just educators, but tech support, social workers, all while trying to take care of their own children. other public employees who kept vital services up and running saw the bus drivers dropping off meals instead of picking up kids, support staff had to become sanitation experts, making school buildings were safe, and tech experts making sure everyone could connect to the internet from home. there has been so much heroic
work to help children stay connected to school and to each other. the american people saw it. they get it. they understand what you have been saying for years. that you are professionals, all of you, all of you. all of us have responsibility to make sure that you have what you need to educate our children safely, equitably, and well. that is why i made it a priority to get educators vaccinated and reopen schools as quickly as possible. nationwide, 84% of k-12 educators and school staff are fully vaccinated and were by the end of may. as i said many times, it is not enough just to get back to normal. we have to build back better than ever, especially our education system. that is why the american rescue plan made such historic investments. 1.9 trillion dollars.
people said we could never get it passed. with your help, we did and we began to transform the country, providing funding for state and local governors, to make sure schools were safe and to keep you on the job and in the classroom. funding for summer learning and tutoring programs and hiring nurses and counselors. now, we have an opportunity to make that game changing investment for educators, students, and families, and make it even better. we are in a competition in the 21st century, a worldwide competition. as jill says often, any country that out-educates us is going to out-compete us. we have to build for the 21st century. the rest of the world is not waiting around. the bipartisan infrastructure agreement we just reached is going to deliver reliable high-speed internet to every american, every single american. they are going to be affordable in rural and urban areas. of the many things, of the many tough images of the past year
were children sitting in cars and fast food parking lots because it was the only place they could get a wi-fi connection for remote schooling. if we did not know it before, we do now -- high-speed internet is essential, like electricity and clean water. speaking of clean water, this agreement that we put together will put americans to work and good paying union jobs replacing 100% of lea waterd pipes in this country. 100 percent. right now, there are 400,000 schools and some of you teach in them, 400 thousand schools and childcare centers with lead pipes. we know even low levels of lead can cause behavioral and learning children -- problems in children. this deal contains the largest investment in clean drinking water in american history. it would end the threat of lead
contamination once and for all. my american families plan, which we are now trying to get done as well, calls for an historic investment in human infrastructure, guaranteeing four additional years of public education for everyone, starting as early as we can. universal high-quality preschool for three and four-year-olds. all the data shows how that increases their prospect no matter what environment they come from to do better and make it through school. two years of free community college and high quality affordable childcare for working families. it would no longer cost -- it would no longer cost for lower income students going to school, the pell grants, we provide an additional $1500 in pell grants. also making $9 billion investment in educators, so we can address teacher shortages,
diversify our pipeline, and improve teacher training, teacher mentoring. critically, it extend and ask and the child tax credit -- expand the child tax credit. what that means is instead of deducting $2000 per child off the bottom line of your taxes, which does not do too much for families who don't have a big tax bill to begin with. pretty soon before this month is out, families are going to get a significant check, for every child under the age of six you will get $3600 per child. for every child 6-17, you will get $3000. not as a credit against your taxes, a lot of educators and school tax -- teachers would not really feel. you will get cash, cash. you will start to get monthly payments between now and the end of the year. if you have one child, you are
going to get $3600 between now and january, you will get $1800 of that owner one monthly basis between now and january, and between january and december, you will get together $1800. this is a major tax break for working families. my family plan will extend it for five years. this year's plan is estimated to cut child poverty in half. [applause] pres. biden: i'm also working with congress to support $100 billion in school infrastructure investments. making sure our schools are safe, they have the technology to prepare for students of the future, something that i've always cared deeply about. my budget invests $20 billion more in title i schools. no student's education to --
should depend on their zip code. it would represent closing the funding gap between rich and poor districts. one of the first things the funding will be used for is to help educators in those schools to get the races they deserve and the resources they need. [applause] pres. biden: by the way, this is not just trying to be nice, this is absolutely necessary if we are going to compete in the 21st century. think about it. the idea that we have a large portion of our student population living in zip codes where they cannot afford the kind of education and cannot pay the teachers enough in those schools to educate them? it makes no sense. people are going to benefit the most from this is corporate america and businesses because they will have better educated students. union teacher protests across
the country made it clear that you deserve more than praise, you deserve a raise, not just praise. [applause] pres. biden: folks, every parent in this country who spent the last year helping educate their children at home understand, you deserve a raise. they figured it out. [applause] pres. biden: i'm serious. think about it. think about it. it was the ultimate education of the public, going through this pandemic. my budget would also allow us to invest more and counselors, social workers, community schools, nutrition support, and a whole lot more. [applause] pres. biden: i have a lot more to say, but i'm going to get the hook from jail if i keep talking. [laughter] pres. biden: let me close with this, on sunday, we will celebrate our independence as a nation, as well as our progress
against the virus. in the days ahead, we have a chance to make another beginning , the beginning of a stronger, fairer education system, but it can't be done, it can't be done alone. we need to keep getting the word out. about the opportunity that lies ahead for us. so let's make this happen together. i really mean this. this is a campaign in and of itself. jill and i are proud of you. we are grateful to you. i really mean that. i think about it. a kid like me from scranton, and claymont, delaware, how could i be standing here is the president of the united states of america were it not for the people who educated me, the teachers i had? it made a difference. they took a stuttering kid who couldn't -- couldn't -- couldn't speak very well in school, was scared to death to be called on
to read out loud, and they nurtured me. joey, you are a very smart boy, joey. just take your time. don't let that get in your way, joey. i'm serious. i think what you will underestimate be in the teaching of reading, writing, adding, subtracting, you give so many kids confidence. you let them believe in themselves. i'm not joking. think about yourself. you can name the teachers that helped change your life. you can name them. i can still name them. the people who made a difference in my life. made me believe i could do anything. if you looked at the background, there is no reason why, coming from my circumstance.
we were just making it. but you did it. don't forget it. don't forget how much difference you make. those of you who have been teaching a while, you have experiences like jill has. people come up to jill and say, misses biden, i had your english class, i can't thank you. what are you doing now? i have my doctorate and i'm teaching in such and such. or a fireman putting out a fire in our home. mrs. biden, all this gear coming out of the house, it almost burned down, mrs. biden, you had me as a teacher, you taught me english. think of the lives you've changed. you know, i'm supposed to stop, but i'm going to say a couple more things. [laughter] pres. biden: because i really don't think you understand just how important you are. i really mean it.
i genuinely mean it from the bottom of my heart. i was overseas after what they call the g7, the biggest economies in the world, and then with the nato people and then i met with putin. and in the process of doing all this, i was asked at one point, can you define america for me? i will give you my word to this. i said, yes, and i believe this and i repeated it again today as i swore in new citizens, young people, in the white house. i said i can define america -- and i mean it from the bottom of my heart -- in one word, possibilities. it is the only nation in the world where we think we can do anything. now why do we think that?
not a joke. why do we think that? why do we think anything is possible? it is not just a system. it is the people who look out for us. i've set 100 times, you control, you are the teachers, to determine what this country is going to look like. you are the people who take our children and nurture them. as i've said many times, you are the kite strings upon which we lift our national ambitions aloft. so have -- understand how important you are. by the way, understand how important that cafeteria worker is, who looks at that kid who is a little bit ashamed that they have no food at home and says, honey, here is a little more,
take some more. or packs a little bag without telling them after that lunch and slips it to them. you provide their dignity. you give them dignity. so, i really mean it. i think you are the single most important component of america's future. so don't give up on yourselves. i know you won't. don't give up on these kids. give them hope. make them believe in themselves. and make sure, when they are much older, they say, how did you get here? because mrs. jones or mr. williams or whomever. it will be done. it will be done. thank you, thanks for all you do, all you give. and all that you are, to your
students, and to the nation. to the nation. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. thank you so much. [applause] ♪ >> ♪ ain't no mountain high ain't no valley low ain't no river wide enough baby ♪ >> ♪ if you need me call me no matter where you are no matter how far just call my name i'll be there in a hurry baby, there ain't no mountain high enough ain't no valley low enough ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you baby ♪ >> ♪ remember the day i set you
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