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Labor Department’s September employment report confirms education job losses


WASHINGTON - October 08, 2010 -

The U.S. Labor Department’s September employment report shows that the public sector shed 159,000 jobs last month, including more than 57,000 education jobs. The job losses, especially in education, continue to be a drag on the economy. In August, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, legislation containing funds to help states cope with the Great Recession and ensure educators and other essential personnel are working instead of joining the ranks of the unemployed.

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

“Today’s U.S. Labor Department employment report shows that educators continue to bear the brunt of our nation’s economic woes. The economy lost more than 57,000 education jobs in September despite the fact that Congress passed the Education Jobs Fund which was designed to keep educators working. The issue is that those funds remain largely untapped.

“All students need great public schools to prepare them to succeed and compete in the global economy. Clearly the road to economic recovery runs through our nation’s public schools. Getting educators back to work right away will help address our nation’s short-term economic blues—but it also will help meet our long-term goal of making America’s students more competitive.

“Although the Education Jobs Bill has helped soften the blow, some states and school districts have been slow in making a commitment to put those funds to work—by getting educators back in schools and in classrooms.

“We renew our call to those states and school districts that are dragging their feet to move quickly and get educators back to work and off of unemployment lines.

“Congress came back into session from its summer recess with one purpose—to help school districts and communities put educators back to work so our students don’t pay the consequences. We hope the U.S. Department of Education will send a stronger message to states and local school districts about Congress’ intent.” 

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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: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823 mgonzalez@nea.org