Thanks to a 4% decrease in state aid, and tight restrictions on raising local revenue, thousands of much-needed teachers were laid off across Massachusetts at the end of June.
The recession had a major impact on state and local revenues across the nation, so legislation began to move through Congress to direct money back to local districts to bring back laid-off teachers. Here’s a stimulus bill that has a direct impact on unemployment AND provides a better education for our nation’s children. Unfortunately, the teacher funds were stripped out of the bill in the senate.
Here’s the sad news from Kathleen Branch, Director, National Advocacy Services for the National School Boards Association:
The House is scheduled to vote on a stripped-down version of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R 4899) this afternoon that does not include the provision for the Education Jobs Fund.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) objected to the removal, stating that the Education Jobs Fund ”had fallen by the wayside”. Obey said he didn’t understand why funding for Pell grants for college students and funding to prevent losing 100,000 teachers were not critical needs.
NSBA will continue to urge Congressional passage of the Education Jobs Fund to help our school districts prevent laying off teachers who provide education services that are vital to student achievement.
Please continue raising this issue with your Members of Congress, and note the severity of school district budgets and teacher/personnel layoffs in your states. Roughly two-thirds of the nation’s school districts are facing budget crises that include teacher layoffs.
There was one very active Massachusetts education lobbyist pushing hard to kill the funding, and was celebrating the defeat all over the Internet. Guess who, then find the answer after the fold.