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Education Jobs Bill Proceeds to Vote

‘Partisan politics couldn’t kill this bill,’ says NEA President

WASHINGTON - August 04, 2010 -

The U.S. Senate today was able reach 61 votes to proceed with H.R. 1586, which includes much-needed funds to help states cope with the Great Recession and to fund an extension of the increased federal match for Medicaid (FMAP). An amendment offered by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to H.R. 1586, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, would create an Education Jobs Fund to stave off massive layoffs of public school educators and harmful cuts to education programs.  The Senate also defeated by a vote of 61-38 an attempt by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to further stall the bill with a procedural tactic, claiming that the legislation added to the federal deficit, despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office reported that the legislation would reduce the deficit by over $1 billion in the next 10 years.

According to a National Education Association analysis, the fund will prevent layoffs of approximately 138,000 educators. Both the education jobs funding and the FMAP extension are fully offset. The Congressional Budget Office confirmed yesterday that H.R. 1586 will actually reduce the budget deficit by $1.4 billion over the next decade. 

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“The educators, students and parents who have fought hard for crucial funding are now one step closer.  This bill is fully paid for, and will actually reduce the budget deficit over the next 10 years.  It’s a no-brainer.  We thank Senator Reid, Senator Murray, Senator Harkin, and Senator Schumer for their steadfast leadership.  We applaud Senators Snowe and Collins from Maine in particular for not allowing partisan roadblocks to stand in the way of what students need.”

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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