Governor allocates more than $200 million from federal Education Jobs Fund

Governor Deval Patrick has allocated more than $200 million from the federal Education Jobs Fund to local school districts across the Commonwealth. The additional funding will support an estimated 2,000 teaching positions and, according to the Patrick administration, will bring state support for public schools to its highest level in history.

“This is great news for the students and educators in our public schools,” MTA President Paul Toner said after the funding announcement was made on August 25 in New Bedford. “This funding will allow districts to rehire teachers and other staff who were given pink slips last spring. It will also help keep talented educators in their classrooms during the upcoming school year.”

On August 10, President Barack Obama signed legislation containing $26 billion in emergency funds to help states cope with the great recession and stave off massive educator layoffs across the nation. In the weeks prior to its passage, MTA members, joining their NEA colleagues from across the country, sent almost 19,000 e-mails and made numerous phone calls in support of the legislation. In the end, all 10 members of the Massachusetts U.S. House delegation and Senator John Kerry voted in favor of the bill. Senator Scott Brown voted against the legislation.

"While this funding is greatly appreciated and will make a difference for our students and our schools, it does not resolve the need for more resources for our public schools and colleges,” Toner cautioned.

The MTA is continuing to lobby for additional funds for the state’s public colleges and universities. As part of this effort, the MTA is asking members to urge the governor to put the remaining funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, estimated at about $60 million, as well as anticipated dollars from the federal Medicaid assistance program, toward the state’s higher education budget.

To learn more about the announcement by the governor and see how much money the administration has allocated for local school districts, please click here. To urge the governor to use federal funds for our state’s public colleges and universities, click here.