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Cost of emergency education bill largely offset by increased economic activity

Economic Policy Institute Report: Keeping educators on the job will cost less than half original pri

WASHINGTON - May 24, 2010 -

A recent analysis released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows the economic benefits of saving jobs significantly lowers the sticker price of any federal jobs legislation. According to the report, “Keeping Teachers on the Job Costs Less Than Advertised,” putting federal money for education jobs into state coffers would create an offset in tax revenue, meaning that the legislation would actually cost less than half its requested amount.

According to the EPI report, an Education Jobs Fund will generate extra taxes and reduce safety-net spending that will lower the federal budget deficit by $12.2 billion. With this offset, the net cost of the fund will be only $10.8 billion, or less than half the headline price

“We know that previous attempts to save education jobs have met opposition because of their price tag,” says NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “EPI’s report shows that any investment in saving jobs will pay off in both the short and long term. The nation’s economic crisis has pushed public education to a tipping point, but there is still a chance to stave off more damage.”

According to new NEA figures, passing an education jobs bill would save nearly 315,000 U.S. jobs, including more than 30,000 in California and in Texas.  The creation of a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund, part of California Rep. George Miller’s Local Jobs for America Act (LJAA), would extend the already successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

On May 19, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before Congress that between 150,000 and 300,000 educators could lose their jobs in the upcoming school year. Without the proposed federal education funds,   millions of public school children will be hurt by the fallout, which will come in the form of ballooning class sizes and a gutted academic program, plus an abrupt end to educational support services for low-performing schools.

“The numbers paint a clear picture,” says Van Roekel. “This jobs fund will keep hundreds of thousands of educators doing what they’ve been trained to do and what they do best: educating our children. It just makes sense to pass legislation that includes an education jobs fund as soon as possible.”

NEA launched a campaign this week to mobilize educators and others concerned about the budget emergency facing public education. The goal of NEA’s “Speak Up for Education & Kids” is to prevent more dramatic and damaging cuts to resources and services that help kids succeed in school.

The “Speak Up for Education & Kids” campaign asks the public and concerned community members to call members of Congress and urge them to pass the education jobs fund in the emergency supplemental bill.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,