Report: Stimulus Saved 250,000 Education Jobs
By Kevin Hart
Monday, October 19, 2009 -- According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education today, the greatest beneficiaries of the nearly $800 billion federal stimulus package may have been the nation’s school children.
Preliminary data indicates that state governments will credit the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which NEA supported, with saving at least 250,000 education jobs across the country. A full report on jobs saved and created by the stimulus is due at the end of this month.
The report on education jobs, prepared by the Domestic Policy Council in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, found that stimulus funding helped states restore education funding shortfalls, saving teacher, administrator and support staff jobs at schools from pre-K through university for the 2009-2010 school year.
"This is one more indication of how the Recovery Act is helping soften the blow of tough times, by keeping educators on the job and teachers in the classroom," Vice President Joe Biden said in the White House release.
NEA was a vocal proponent of the stimulus bill, arguing that states were facing unprecedented education funding gaps without it, which would have disastrous consequences for the nation’s students. Ultimately, the stimulus package allocated $11 billion for education.
And, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, that funding isn’t just saving jobs – it’s also creating opportunities for innovation.
“Early feedback from states also tells us that many districts are using stimulus dollars in ways that will move us beyond the status quo,” he said. “There is a lot more work to be done, but we applaud those districts that have successfully used stimulus funding to stave off catastrophic layoffs and invest in critical reforms.”