THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. I just want to make a few brief comments about the attacks across Paris tonight. Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.

  We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond. France is our oldest ally. The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again. And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

  Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress. Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share. And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.

  We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.

  We don’t yet know all the details of what has happened. We have been in contact with French officials to communicate our deepest condolences to the families of those who have been killed, to offer our prayers and thoughts to those who have been wounded. We have offered our full support to them. The situation is still unfolding. I’ve chosen not to call President Hollande at this time, because my expectation is that he’s very busy at the moment. I actually, by coincidence, was talking to him earlier today in preparation for the G20 meeting. But I am confident that I’ll be in direct communications with him in the next few days, and we’ll be coordinating in any ways that they think are helpful in the investigation of what’s happened.

  This is a heartbreaking situation. And obviously those of us here in the United States know what it’s like. We’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves. And whenever these kinds of attacks happened, we’ve always been able to count on the French people to stand with us. They have been an extraordinary counterterrorism partner, and we intend to be there with them in that same fashion.

  I’m sure that in the days ahead we’ll learn more about exactly what happened, and my teams will make sure that we are in communication with the press to provide you accurate information. I don’t want to speculate at this point in terms of who was responsible for this. It appears that there may still be live activity and dangers that are taking place as we speak. And so until we know from French officials that the situation is under control, and we have for more information about it, I don’t want to speculate.

  Thank you very much.


  Thank you so much. Thank you. Please, everyone have a seat.

  Good evening. Bonjour. Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, members of the House, members of the Senate, distinguished guests, people of Canada — thank you for this extraordinary welcome, which temps me to just shut up and leave.

  Because it can’t get any better than this.

  Obviously I’m grateful for the warm welcome. I’m extraordinarily grateful for the close working relationship and friendship with your outstanding Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and his extraordinary wife, Sophie.

  But I think it’s fair to say that much of this greeting is simply a reflection of the extraordinary alliance and deep friendship between Canadians and Americans.

  Justin, thank you for your very kind words, and for the new energy and hope that your leadership has brought to your nation as well as to the alliance. My time in office may be nearing an end, but I know that Canada — and the world — will benefit from your leadership for years to come.

  So Canada was the very first country that I visited as President. It was in February.

  It was colder.

  I was younger.

  Michelle now refers to my hair as the Great White North.

  And on that visit, I strolled around the ByWard Market, tried a “beaver tail” – which is better than it sounds.

  And I was struck then, as I am again today, by the warmth of the Canadians. I could not be more honored to be joining you in this historic hall — this cathedral of freedom. And we Americans can never say it enough — we could not ask for a better friend or ally than Canada.

  We could not. It’s true. It is true. And we do not take it for granted.

  That does not mean we don’t have our differences. As I understand it, one of the reasons the Queen chose this site for Parliament was that it was a safe distance from America’s border.

  And I admit, in the War of 1812, American troops did some damage to Toronto. I suspect that there were some people up here who didn’t mind when the British returned the favor and burned down the White House.

  It was the grit of pioneers and prospectors who pushed West across a forbidding frontier. The dreams of generations — immigrants, refugees — that we’ve welcomed to these shores. The hope of run-away slaves who went north on an underground railroad. “Deep in our history of struggle,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Canada was the north star… The freedom road links us together.”

  We’re bound as well by the service of those who’ve defended us — at Flanders Field, the beaches of Normandy, in the skies of the Balkans, and more recently, in the mountains of Afghanistan, and training bases in Iraq. Their sacrifice is reflected in the silent rows of Arlington and in the Peace Tower above us. Today we honor those who gave their lives for all of us.

  We’re linked together, as well, by the institutions that we’ve built to keep the peace: A United Nations to advance our collective aspirations. A NATO alliance to ensure our security. NORAD, where Americans and Canadians stand watch side by side — and track Santa on Christmas Eve.

  We’re linked by a vast web of commerce that carries goods from one end of this continent to another. And we’re linked by the ties of friendship and family — in my case, an outstanding brother-in-law in Burlington.

  Had to give Burlington a shout out.

  Our relationship is so remarkable precisely because it seems so unremarkable — which is why Americans often are surprised when our favorite American actor or singer turns out to be Canadian!

  The point is we see ourselves in each other, and our lives are richer for it.

  As President, I’ve deepened the ties between our countries. And because of the progress we’ve made in recent years, I can stand before you and say that the enduring partnership between Canada and the United States is as strong as it has ever been, and we are more closely aligned than ever before.

  And yet, we meet at a pivotal moment for our nations and for the globe. From this vibrant capital, we can look upon a world that has benefited enormously from the international order that we helped to build together’ but we can see that same order increasingly strained by the accelerating forces of change. The world is by most every measure less violent than ever before; but it remains riven by old divisions and fresh hatreds. The world is more connected than ever before; but even as it spreads knowledge and the possibility of greater understanding between peoples, it also empowers terrorists who spread hatred and death — most recently in Orlando and Istanbul.

  The world is more prosperous than ever before, but alongside globalization and technological wonders we also see a rise in inequality and wage stagnation across the advanced economies, leaving too many workers and communities fearful of diminishing prospects, not just for themselves, but more importantly, for their children.

  And in the face of such rising uncertainty, it is not enough to look at aggregate growth rates, or stock prices, or the pace of digital innovation. If the benefits of globalization accrue only to those at the very top, if our democracies seem incapable of assuring broad-based growth and opportunity for everyone, then people will push back, out of anger or out of fear. And politicians — some sincere, and some entirely cynical — will tap that anger and fear, harkening back to bygone days of order and predictability and national glory, arguing that we must rebuild walls and disengage from a chaotic world, or rid ourselves of the supposed ills brought on by immigrants — all in order to regain control of our lives.

  We saw some of these currents at work this past week in the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union. Despite some of the initial reactions, I am confident that the process can be managed in a prudent, orderly way. I expect that our friends on both sides of the Channel will develop a workable plan for how to move forward. And I’m equally confident that the Transatlantic values that we all share as liberal, market-based democracies are deeper and stronger than any single event.

  But while the circumstances of Brexit may be unique to the United Kingdom, the frustrations people felt are not. The short-term fallout of Brexit can be sensibly managed, but the long-term trends of inequality and dislocation and the resulting social division — those can’t be ignored. How we respond to the forces of globalization and technological change will determine the durability of an international order that ensures security and prosperity for future generations.

  And fortunately, the partnership between the United States and Canada shows the path we need to travel. For our history and our work together speak to a common set of values to build on –proven values, values that your Prime Minister spoke of in his introduction — values of pluralism and tolerance, rule of law, openness; global engagement and commerce and cooperation, coupled with equal opportunity and an investment in our people at home. As Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said, “A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs build the pyramids, and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day out of certain basic shared values.” What is true of countries is true of the world. And that’s what I want to talk about today — how to strengthen our institutions to advance these commitments in a rapidly changing world.

  Let me start with our shared economic vision. In all we do, our commitment to opportunity for all of our people has to be at the centerpiece of our work. We are so fortunate because both of our countries are so well-positioned to succeed in the 21st century. Our two nations know firsthand the awesome power of free markets and innovation. Canadians help run some of Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies. Our students study at each other’s world-class universities. We invest in research and development, and make decisions based on science and evidence. And it works. It’s what’s created these extraordinary economies of ours.

  But if the financial crisis and recent recession taught us anything, it’s that economies do better when everyone has a chance to succeed. For a long time, it was thought that countries had to choose between economic growth or economic inclusion. But it turns out that’s a false choice. If a CEO makes more in a day than a typical employee makes in a year, that kind of inequality is not just bad for morale in the company, it turns out it’s bad for the economy — that worker is not a very good customer for business.

  If a young man in Ohio can’t pay his student loans, or a young woman in Ontario can’t pay her bills, that has ramifications for our economy. It tamps down the possibilities of growth. So we need growth that is broad and that lifts everybody up — including tax policies that do right by working families, and robust safety nets for those who fall on hard times. As John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “the common denominator of progress” is our people. It’s not numbers, it’s not abstractions, it’s how are our people doing.

  Of course, many who share this progressive, inclusive vision can be heard now arguing that investments in our people, protection for our workers, fair tax policies, these things are not enough. For them, globalization is inherently rigged towards the top one percent, and therefore, what’s needed is an end to trade agreements and various international institutions and arrangements that integrate national economies.

  And I understand that vision. I know why it’s tempting. It seems as if we draw a line around our borders that it will give us more control, particularly when the benefits of trade and economic integration are sometimes hard to see or easy to take for granted, and very specific dislocations are obvious and real.

  There’s just one problem: Restricting trade or giving in to protectionism in this 21st century economy will not work.

  It will not work. Even if we wanted to, we can’t seal ourselves off from the rest of the world. The day after Brexit, people looked around and said, oh!

  How is this going to work? The drag that economic weakness in Europe and China and other countries is having on our own economies right now speaks to the degree to which we depend — our economies depend, our jobs, our businesses depend — on selling goods and services around the world.

  Very few of our domestic industries can sever what is now truly a global supply chain. And so, for those of us who truly believe that our economies have to work for everybody, the answer is not to try and pull back from our interconnected world; it is rather to engage with the rest of the world, to shape the rules so they’re good for our workers and good for our businesses.

  And the experience between our two nations points the way. The United States and Canada have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world — and we are stronger for it.

  It means a company in Quebec can create jobs in North Carolina. And a start-up in Toronto can attract investment from Texas. Now, the problem is that some economies in many of the fastest-growing regions of the world — particularly the Asia Pacific region — don’t always abide by the same rules. They impose unfair tariffs; or they suppress workers’ rights; or they maintain low environmental standards that make it hard for our businesses to compete fairly.

  With the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we have the ability to not only open up these markets to U.S. and Canadian products and eliminate thousands of these unfair tariffs — which, by the way, we need to do because they’re already selling here under existing rules, but we’re not selling as much as we should over there — but it also affords us the opportunity to increase protections for workers and the environment, and promote human rights, including strong prohibitions against human trafficking and child labor. And that way our workers are competing on a level playing field, and our businesses are less prone to pursue a race to the bottom. And when combined with increased investments in our own people’s education, and skills and training, and infrastructure and research and development and connectivity, then we can spur the kind of sustained growth that makes all of us better off.

  All of us.

  The point is we need to look forward, not look backward. And more trade and more people-to-people ties can also help break down old divides. I thank Canada for its indispensable role in hosting our negotiations with the Cuban government, and supporting our efforts to set aside half a century of failed policies to begin a new chapter with the Cuban people.

  I know a lot of Canadians like going to Cuba — (laughter) — maybe because there haven’t been Americans crowding the streets and the beaches. But that’s changing.

  And as more Americans engage with the Cuban people, it will mean more economic opportunity and more hope for ordinary Cubans.

  We also agree, us Americans and Canadians, that wealthy countries like ours cannot reach our full potential while others remain mired in poverty. That, too, is not going to change in this interconnected world; that if there is poverty and disease and conflict in other parts of the world, it spills over, as much as we’d like to pretend that we can block it out.

  So, with our commitment to new Sustainable Development Goals, we have the chance to end the outrage of extreme poverty.

  We can bring more electricity to Africa, so that students can study at night and businesses can stay open. We can banish the scourge of malaria and Zika. We can realize our goal of the first AIDS-free generation.

  We can do that. It’s within our grasp. And we can help those who are working to replace corruption with transparent, accountable institutions that serve their people.

  As leaders in global development, the United States and Canada understand that development is not charity — it’s an investment in our future prosperity.

  Because not only do such investments and policies help poor countries, they’re going to create billions of customers for U.S. and Canadian products, and they’ll make less likely the spread of deadly epidemics to our shores, and they’ll stabilize parts of the word that threaten the security of our people.

  In fact, both the United States and Canada believe our own security — and not just prosperity — is enhanced when we stand up for the rights of all nations and peoples to live in security and peace.

  and even as there are times when unilateral action is necessary to defend our people, we believe that in a world where wars between great powers are far less likely but transnational threats like terrorism know no boundaries, our security is best advanced when nations work together. We believe that disputes that do arise between nations should be, wherever possible, resolved peacefully, with diplomacy; that international organizations should be supported; that multilateralism is not a dirty word.

  And certainly, we’re more secure when we stand united against terrorist networks and ideologies that have reached to the very doorstep of this hall. We honor all those taken from us by violent extremists, including Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall.

  With Canada’s additional contributions, including training Iraqi forces, our coalition is on the offensive across Iraq, across Syria. And we will destroy the terrorist group ISIL.

  We will destroy them.

  We’ll continue helping local forces and sharing intelligence, from Afghanistan to the Philippines, so that we’re pushing back comprehensively against terrorist networks. And in contrast to the hatred and the nihilism of terrorists, we’ll work with partners around the world, including, particularly, Muslim communities, to offer a better vision and a path of development, and opportunity, and tolerance.

  Because they are, and must be, our partners in this effort.

  Meanwhile, when nations violate international rules and norms — such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine — the United States and Canada stand united, along with our allies, in defense of our collective security.

  Doing so requires a range of tools, like economic sanctions, but it also requires that we keep our forces ready for 21st century missions, and invest in new capabilities. As your ally and as your friend, let me say that we’ll be more secure when every NATO member, including Canada, contributes its full share to our common security.

  Because the Canadian armed forces are really good — (applause) — and if I can borrow a phrase, the world needs more Canada. NATO needs more Canada.

  We need you. We need you.

  Just as we join together in our common defense, so must we work together diplomatically, particularly to avert war. Diplomacy results are rarely quick, but it turns out even the most intractable conflicts can be resolved. Here in our own hemisphere, just in the last few weeks, after half a century of war, Colombia is poised to achieve an historic peace.

  And the nations of North America will be an important partner to Colombia going forward, including working to remove landmines.

  Around the world, Canadian and American diplomats working together can make a difference. Even in Syria, where the agony and the suffering of the Syrian people tears at our hearts, our two nations continue to be leaders in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. And although a true resolution of this conflict so far has eluded us, we know that the only solution to this civil war is a political solution, so that the Syrian people can reclaim their country and live in peace. And Canadians and Americans are going to work as hard as we can to make that happen.

  I should add that here in the nation of Lester Pearson, we reaffirm our commitment to keep strengthening the peacekeeping that saves lives around the world.

  There is one threat, however, that we cannot solve militarily, nor can we solve alone — and that is the threat of climate change. Now, climate change is no longer an abstraction. It’s not an issue we can put off for the future. It is happening now. It is happening here, in our own countries. The United States and Canada are both Arctic nations, and last year, when I became the first U.S. President to visit the Arctic, I could see the effects myself. Glaciers — like Canada’s Athabasca Glacier — are melting at alarming rates. Tundra is burning. Permafrost is thawing. This is not a conspiracy. It’s happening. Within a generation, Arctic sea ice may all but disappear in the summer.

  And so skeptics and cynics can insist on denying what’s right in front of our eyes. But the Alaska Natives that I met, whose ancestral villages are sliding into the sea — they don’t have that luxury. They know climate change is real. They know it is not a hoax. And from Bangladesh to the Pacific islands, rising seas are swallowing land and forcing people from their homes. Around the world, stronger storms and more intense droughts will create humanitarian crises and risk more conflict. This is not just a moral issue, not just a economic issue, it is also an urgent matter of our national security.

  Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup.


  Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Well, it is great to be in Georgia! (Applause.) Great to be in Decatur! (Applause.)

  I can’t imagine a more romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day — (laughter) — than with all of you, with all the press here. Actually, Michelle says hello. (Applause.) She made me promise to get back in time for our date tonight. (Laughter.) That’s important. That’s important. I’ve already got a gift, got the flowers. (Applause.) I was telling folks the flowers are a little easier, though, because I’ve got this Rose Garden. (Laughter.) Lot of people keeping flowers around.

  I want to acknowledge a few people who are here — first of all, Congressman Hank Johnson is here. Where’s Hank? (Applause.) Your Mayor, Jim Baskett, is here. (Applause.) Another Mayor you may know — Kasim Reed snuck in here. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge the Decatur School Board, who I had a chance to meet and has helped to do so much great work around here. (Applause.) Folks right here.

  And of course, I want to thank Mary for the wonderful introduction and for teaching me how to count earlier today. (Laughter.) I’ve got to tell you it was wonderful to be there. I want to thank all the teachers and the parents and the administrators of Decatur City Schools, because behind every child who is doing great there is a great teacher, and I’m proud of every single one of you for the work that you do here today. (Applause.)

  Now, on Tuesday, I delivered my State of the Union address. And I laid out a plan for reigniting what I believe is the true engine of America’s economic growth, and that is a thriving, growing, rising middle class. And that also means ladders for people to get into the middle class. And the plan I put forward says we need to make smart choices as a country — both to grow our economy, shrink our deficits in a balanced way by cutting what we don’t need but then investing in the things that we do need to make sure that everybody has a chance to get ahead in life.

  What we need is to make America a magnet for new jobs by investing in manufacturing, and energy, and better roads and bridges and schools. We’ve got to make sure hard work is rewarded with a wage that you can live on and raise a family on.

  We need to make sure that we’ve got shared responsibility for giving every American the chance to earn the skills and education that they need for a really competitive, global job market.

  As I said on Tuesday night, that education has to start at the earliest possible age. And that’s what you have realized here in Decatur. (Applause.) Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But here’s the thing: We are not doing enough to give all of our kids that chance. The kids we saw today that I had a chance to spend time with in Mary’s classroom, they’re some of the lucky ones — because fewer than 3 in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.

  Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for the poor children who need it the most, the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives. And we all pay a price for that. And as I said, this is not speculation. Study after study shows the achievement gap starts off very young. Kids who, when they go into kindergarten, their first day, if they already have a lot fewer vocabulary words, they don’t know their numbers and their shapes and have the capacity for focus, they’re going to be behind that first day. And it’s very hard for them to catch up over time.

  And then, at a certain point — I bet a lot of teachers have seen this — kids aren’t stupid. They know they’re behind at a certain point, and then they start pulling back, and they act like they’re disinterested in school because they’re frustrated that they’re not doing as well as they should, and then you may lose them.

  And that’s why, on Tuesday night, I proposed working with states like Georgia to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every child. (Applause.)

  Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on — boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime. In states like Georgia that have made it a priority to educate our youngest children, states like Oklahoma, students don’t just show up in kindergarten and first grade more prepared to learn, they’re also more likely to grow up reading and doing math at grade level, graduating from high school, holding a job, even forming more stable families.

  Hope is found in what works. This works. We know it works. If you are looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it right here. (Applause.)

  That’s why, even in times of tight budgets, states like Georgia and Oklahoma have worked to make a preschool slot available for nearly every parent who is looking for one for their child. And they’re being staffed with folks like Mary — qualified, highly educated teachers. This is not babysitting. This is teaching. (Applause.)

  So at the age that our children are just sponges soaking stuff in, their minds are growing fastest, what we saw in the classroom here today was kids are taught numbers, they’re taught shapes, but also how to answer questions, discover patterns, play well with others. And the teachers who were in the classroom, they’ve got a coach who’s coming in and working with them on best practices and paying attention to how they can constantly improve what they’re doing.

  And that whole playing well with others, by the way, is a trait we could use more in Washington. (Applause.) So maybe we need to bring the teachers up — (applause) — every once in a while have some quiet time. (Laughter.) Time out. (Laughter.)

  So at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center that I visited earlier today, nearly 200 little kids are spending full days learning in classrooms with highly qualified teachers. (Applause.) And so I was working with them to build towers and replicate sculptures and sing songs. And, look, I’ve got to admit, I was not always the fastest guy on some of this stuff. (Laughter.) The kids were beating me to the punch. But through this interactive learning, they’re learning math, writing, how to tell stories.

  And one of the things that you’ve done here in Decatur that’s wonderful also is, is that you’ve combined kids from different income levels; you’ve got disabled kids all in the same classroom, so we’re all learning together. (Applause.) And what that means is, is that all the kids are being leveled up, and you’re not seeing some of that same stratification that you see that eventually leads to these massive achievement gaps.

  So before you know it, these kids are going to be moving on to bigger and better things in kindergarten, and they’re going to be better prepared to succeed. And what’s more, I don’t think you’ll find a working parent in America who wouldn’t appreciate the peace of mind that their child is in a safe, high-quality learning environment every single day. (Applause.)

  Michelle and I remember how tough it can be to find good childcare. I remember how expensive it can be, too. The size of your paycheck, though, shouldn’t determine your child’s future. (Applause.) So let’s fix this. Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life already a step behind. Let’s make it a national priority to give every child access to a high-quality early education. Let’s give our kids that chance.

  Now, I do have to warn the parents who are here who still have young kids — they grow up to be, like, 5’10” — (laughter) — and even if they’re still nice to you, they basically don’t have a lot of time for you during the weekends. (Laughter.) They have sleepovers and — dates. (Laughter.) So all that early investment — (laughter) — just leads them to go away. (Laughter.)

  Now, what I also said on Tuesday night is that our commitment to our kids’ education has to continue throughout their academic lives. So from the time our kids start grade school, we need to equip them with the skills they need to compete in a high-tech economy. That’s why we’re working to recruit and train 100,000 new teachers in the fields of the future — in science and technology, and engineering and math where we are most likely to fall behind.

  We’ve got to redesign our high schools so that a diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. (Applause.) We want to reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science and technology, and engineering and math — all the things that can help our kids fill those jobs that are there right now but also in the future.

  And obviously, once our kids graduate from high school, we’ve got to make sure that skyrocketing costs don’t price middle-class families out of a higher education — (applause) — or saddle them with unsustainable debt. I mean, some of the younger teachers who are here, they’ve chosen a career path that is terrific, but let’s face it, you don’t go into teaching to get rich. (Laughter.) And it is very important that we make sure that they can afford to get a great education and can choose to be a teacher, can choose to be in a teaching profession. (Applause.)

  So we’ve worked to make college more affordable for millions of students and families already through tax credits and grants and loans that go farther than before. But taxpayers can’t keep subsidizing ever-escalating price tags for higher education. At some point you run out of money. So colleges have to do their part. And colleges that don’t do enough to keep costs in check should get less federal support so that we’re incentivizing colleges to think about how to keep their costs down.

  And just yesterday, we released what we’re calling a new “College Scorecard” that gives parents and students all the information they need to compare schools by value and affordability so that they can make the best choice. And any interested parent, by the way, who’s out there can check it out at Whitehouse.gov. (Applause.)

  Now, in the end, that’s what this is all about — giving our kids the best possible shot at life; equipping them with the skills, education that a 21st century economy demands; giving them every chance to go as far as their hard work and God-given potential will take them.

  That’s not just going to make sure that they do well; that will strengthen our economy and our country for all of us. Because if their generation prospers, if they’ve got the skills they need to get a good job, that means businesses want to locate here. And it also means, by the way, they’re well-equipped as citizens with the critical thinking skills that they need in order to help guide our democracy. We’ll all prosper that way. That’s what we’re fighting for. They’re the ones who are going to write that next great chapter in the American story, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re providing that investment.

  I am so proud of every single teacher who is here who has dedicated their lives to making sure those kids get a good start in life. I want to make sure that I’m helping, and I want to make sure that the country is behind you every step of the way.

  Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

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