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Just the Facts: A Weekly Report on the Presidential Candidates


SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION JOBS

  • President Obama is Committed to Keeping Teachers in the Classroom. President Obama’s jobs bill contains $30 billion in funding for states to pay teachers.[1] This funding would prevent 400,000 teachers nationwide from receiving pink slips.[2]
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Fights to Save Teachers Jobs. Harry Reid announced plans to introduce President Obama’s jobs bill in pieces, beginning with the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. Senator Reid paired the $30 billion measure for teachers with $5 billion in funding for first responders’ salaries and proposed the measure on October 17th. The proposal is fully paid for by increasing tax rates for the richest Americans by 0.5% on each dollar of income earned over $1,000,000.[3] Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate for a second time in less than two weeks failed to pass a bill to put educators back in classrooms instead of on the unemployment lines.
  • President Obama supports the Reid proposal.[4]

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  • Governor Romney Calls Saving 400,000 Teachers’ Jobs a ‘Little Band-Aid’ for the Economy, Mitt Romney called President Obama’s jobs bill a “temporary little Band-Aid” at the Bloomberg GOP Debate, ignoring the profound impact proposals like the $30 billion in funding for teachers would have on the economy.[5]
  • Governor Perry Calls President Obama’s Effort to Save 400,000 Education Jobs ‘Misguided.’ Rick Perry called President Obama’s jobs proposal “misguided” and said it “offered little hope” for Americans.[6] This claim comes despite estimates from outside economists that the President’s jobs bill could create up to 1.9 million jobs.[7] Texas would potentially benefit greatly from the $30 billion in funding to retain teachers because the state is poised to lay off 49,000 education workers over the next two years, as a result of Governor Perry’s 2011 budget.[8]
     
    NEA BELIEVES…
  • Children nationwide cannot afford the consequences of reducing the rolls of classroom teachers.  The immediate result of increased class size is a widening of achievement gaps, particularly in grades K-3.
  • Supporting our schools also involves preserving the jobs of thousands of education support professionals.  Part of the $30 billion provided by President Obama’s American Jobs Act would retain jobs for bus drivers, classroom assistants, and other school staff.
  • President Obama’s American Jobs Act provides a lifeline to schools affected by budget deficits.  The $30 billion in funding for educators specifically supports state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire early childhood, elementary, and secondary school educators.
     
    References:

    1.       Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act, The White House, accessed October 17, 2011.
    2.       Reid Statement, Office of Senator Harry Reid, accessed October 17, 2011.
    3.       “Reid tries for jobs act vote this week,” The Hill, October 17, 2011.
    4.       “Obama on Republicans and Jobs Bill: No We Can’t,” LA Times, October 18, 2011.
    5.       “Transcript,” Bloomberg, October 11, 2011.
    6.       “Statement by Texas Gov. Rick Perry on President Obama’s Speech,” RickPerry.org, September 8, 2011.
    7.       Zandi, Mark. “An Analysis of the Obama Jobs Plan.” Link. September 9, 2011.
    8.       “Rick Perry’s Education Policies Bring Mixed Results in Texas,” Huffington Post, August 22, 2011.

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