Letter to the House urging Members to Cosign a Dear Colleague Letter Education Jobs
March 18, 2010
On behalf of the National Education Association’s (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you add your name to a dear colleague letter being circulated by Representative Hinchey calling on Senate leaders to help create/save jobs and jumpstart the economy by including funding for education-related jobs in a jobs package.
Last December, the House passed the Jobs for Main Street Act, including $23 billion for an Education Jobs Fund estimated to create/save 250,000 jobs over the next two years. Although the Senate has passed two smaller jobs packages, neither bill included funding for public sector job creation.
The Hinchey letter calls on Senate leaders to act quickly to pass a jobs package that includes this critical funding. Saving and creating education jobs is a particularly effective way to jumpstart economic recovery. Saving an education job involves no wait time to draw up contracts or acquire materials.
An Education Jobs Fund that would extend state stabilization aid, like that in the Job for Main Street Act, has already proven effective and played a key role in helping to keep middle class Americans working. Recently, Christina Romer, head of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, stated that fiscal relief to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been "one of the triumphs" and has had "more bite than we would have thought." This observation coming from the CEA Chair affirms the the economic value to the nation of this aid and reinforces the need to continue such assistance through an Education Jobs Fund.
An Education Jobs Fund will help put more faculty into higher education classrooms, including those at community colleges (where enrollments have increased as much as 40-50 percent,) so that students can get the education they need to get back to work. It will also help keep schools fully staffed with pre-k through post-secondary teachers and education support professionals at a time when many students are experiencing great stress. A recent University of California study found that children in families where the head of the household had lost a job were 15 percent more likely to repeat a grade. A January 2010 report from the bipartisan First Focus Campaign for Children found that 1 in 7 children are living with an unemployed parent, nearly a doubling of children in just over two years.
A copy of Representative Hinchey’s dear colleague is attached. To add your name, please contact Erika Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5-6335.
Director of Government Relations