Biden’s “State of the Union” Speaks to AFSA Priorities

President Biden’s State of the Union speech came from his heart and showcased his deep and passionate concern for everyday workers and desire to move our nation forward. His push for significant investment last year in infrastructure, education and the economy is paying dividends for all Americans, including record job creation and the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.

For principals, assistant principals, central office administrators, school district directors and supervisors, and other school leaders, federal monies pushed by and enacted by the president are opening the door to school leader-specific professional development, mental health and social and emotional support, new school facilities, updates and improvements to HVAC systems that will provide healthier indoor air quality in our classrooms, safer water at drinking fountains, greater access to high-speed internet, and better roads and public transit to get our students to school safely, just to name a few.

With schools facing increased costs from inflation and a growing educator shortage, it is imperative these federal resources are not taken away in future negotiations on spending caps. Indeed, we urge the president not only to defend these investments in Pre-K–12 programs, but to increase funding to, in his own words, “finish the job.”

Further, the president made it extremely clear he will be protecting Social Security and Medicare from any potential cuts or from being held captive in a partisan standoff on the debt ceiling limit. The dignity and the very survival of our nation’s seniors, including AFSA’s retirees, present and future, depends upon it. Our retirees have contributed their fair share of dollars to these programs all their lives and must not see them watered down or privatized, as some in Congress have suggested. 

Finally, we were particularly heartened by the president’s call for an assault weapons ban to improve the safety of our schools and communities. AFSA’s own resolution on enhancing school safety and stopping gun violence, adopted at our convention in July 2022, reflects much of what the president urged Congress to do. Additionally, safety from gun violence was among the topics we discussed on our recent visit to the White House, and it’s one we will continue to pursue with urgency. 

The AFSA Government Affairs team is doubling down over the next few months in its continued outreach to the White House, and we will continue to push our legislative priorities forward. Your input has been instrumental in our efforts to inform the White House and Congress about the concerns of school leaders. Please continue to share your ideas and email us at

AFSA aims to ensure our nation has world-class schools and that educators throughout the United States are honored with the dignity and respect they deserve—both on the job and in retirement.

Be well, stay well,