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Letter to the Senate in Support of Immediate Action on a Jobs bill

July 09, 2010

Dear Senator:


On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we strongly urge the Senate to take up and pass an education jobs fund to save educators' jobs and help protect students from ballooning class sizes and dramatic program cuts immediately following the July 4th recess.  The school year begins very soon in many states; Congress must complete its work on this important legislation now to avoid devastating cuts and layoffs that will have long-lasting impacts on students.  NEA members across the nation are deeply concerned about the current national education emergency and are watching and waiting for immediate congressional action.

Investing in education will save jobs in other sectors and spur economic recovery.  For every 100,000 education jobs lost, another 30,000 jobs are lost in other sectors due to reduced consumer spending and tax revenues, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  As the attached breakdown shows, an education jobs fund will have a significant impact in saving education jobs, keeping students learning, and boosting the local economy in your state. 

Education reform cannot happen without educators in the classroom.  Fulfilling the promise of public education requires investing in quality staff to ensure that all students get the attention and assistance they need to excel.  If we don’t invest now, we will pay more later—in the form of remediation; a less prepared and less competitive workforce; and increased demand for safety-net spending.

Investing in education is investing in America’s future.  Students get only one shot at an education.  It is not their fault they are in school during a devastating economic crisis.  For firsthand accounts of how this crisis is affecting educators in your state, visit http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/educators-on-jobs

This crisis demands immediate action.  Our students, our communities, and our nation as a whole cannot afford the price of any further delay.  Prior to adjournment for the July 4th recess, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 239-182 a domestic emergency funding package that included an education jobs fund as well as nearly $5 billion to address a serious shortfall in the  Pell Grant program.  We strongly urge the Senate to craft an education jobs package that can be passed immediately that provides at least $10 billion to save educator jobs and addresses the significant Pell Grant shortfall.

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson         
Director of Government Relations     

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy