Letter to the Senate on a Jobs Package
December 17, 2009
The National Education Association, representing 3.2 million educators across the nation, strongly urges the Senate to take up and pass a jobs package, including needed investments in education. Governors and state legislatures across the country have already begun to grapple with how to address shortfalls for the next fiscal year. Therefore, we hope the Senate will take up a jobs package as quickly as possible next year.
NEA strongly supported the Jobs for Main Street Act passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week. This important legislation represents a critical step in helping stimulate economic recovery, particularly by investing significant dollars into retaining and creating education jobs. 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 — both the Education Jobs Fund and school construction bonds — will save or create hundreds of thousands of educator jobs and will provide a critical infusion of funds into struggling communities.
Senate action on a jobs package early in 2010 is critical. State budget outlooks for 2010 and 2011 look bleak, with shortfalls predicted to be as high as $180 billion to $190 billion each year; local budget shortfalls are predicated to be as high as $40 billion each year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. These shortfalls, if left unaddressed, could have a devastating impact on schools, students and educators just one year after the ARRA helped save or create 325,000 education jobs.
We urge the Senate to move quickly to pass a jobs package that includes the critical education funding pieces in the House bill. We thank you for your consideration of our comments on these urgent issues and look forward to working with you in the new year.
Director of Government Relations