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Tell the U.S. Senate to support education funding in jobs package

In December, the House of Representatives passed the Jobs for Main Street Act, including significant investments in education to help save and create jobs that help students achieve, run our schools, and strengthen the middle class.

Now, it is the Senate’s turn. NEA is urging the Senate to support a jobs package that provides, at a minimum, the critical education investments included in the House-passed bill.

Quick action is necessary. Governors and state legislatures across the country have already begun to grapple with how to address budget shortfalls for the next fiscal year, as most are well underway in their FY2011 budget planning process. If left unaddressed, budget shortfalls will have a devastating impact on schools, students, and educators.

Investment in public education is the best investment for the nation’s economy, in the short run and long run. The education dollars provided in the Jobs for Main Street Act will save or create hundreds of thousands of educator jobs, and will provide a critical infusion of funds into struggling communities.

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS TODAY! Urge the Senate to pass a jobs package that includes, at a minimum, the investments in education provided in the House-passed bill.

Critical provisions include:

  • An Education Jobs Fund that will help states create/save jobs. This Fund will have an immediate impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials. It will also help keep schools fully staffed with teachers and education support professionals – thereby ensuring that class sizes don’t swell and students can get the attention they need -- at a time when many students are experiencing great stress.
  • Provide money for school construction, renovation and modernization – to build, repair, and modernize schools, advance student achievement, and generate jobs in local communities.

See how many education jobs the House-passed bill will save/create in Massachusetts.

See how much funding Massaachusetts will lose once monies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire unless Congress provides more funding in a jobs/economic recovery bill.

Background from the NEA:

In December, the House passed the NEA-supported Jobs for Main Street Act. The bill includes several key provisions that will make a real difference for educators, public schools, and local communities:

  • Education Jobs Fund -- $23 billion that will help states retain or create an estimated 250,000 education jobs over the next two years. This Fund will have an immediate impact, as saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials. It will also help keep schools fully staffed with teachers and education support professionals at a time when many students are experiencing great stress. A recent University of California study found that children in families where the head of the household had lost a job were 15 percent more likely to repeat a grade. While we strongly support the Education Jobs Fund, we know that even more funding is needed to prevent significant job loss.
  • School Construction -- Over $4 billion for school construction, renovation and modernization to modify bonds created under ARRA to make them more attractive to school districts and investors. As a result, it will create greater opportunities to build, repair, and modernize schools, advance student achievement and generate construction related jobs in local communities in every state.
  • College Work Study -- $300 million. Together with institutional matching funds, this funding will help approximately 250,000 students stay in school.
  • Federal Medicaid Match – $23.5 billion – extends for six months the higher federal match for payments to doctors providing services to low-income families under Medicaid, thereby providing an incentive for states to commit resources to Medicaid while helping ensure services for beneficiaries.