A crisis in this country is a plaguing our children, but it has received far less media coverage than controversy surrounding immigration and financial reform. It’s one that deserves our immediate attention because it can be averted.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has introduced legislation to halt “a massive wave of layoffs in our schools and institutions of higher learning that could weaken our economic recovery and cause serious damage to our education system.” These job losses would extend beyond public schools to colleges as well. The end of the two-year stimulus plan is readily approaching and the financial difficulties from the recession that began in 2007 will continue for many more years.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to congressional leaders last week that pleads for the federal government to extend some of the stimulus aid. If not, thousands of education jobs will be eliminated. Duncan’s letter sates, “ongoing state and local budget challenges are threatening hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs for the upcoming school year, with estimates ranging from 100,000 to 300,000 education jobs at risk.”
According to a May 19, 2010 Reuters report, “Harkin’s office said the education fund would cover compensation and benefits, and provide for hiring new employees. It could also pay for training.”
If you want to help schools avoid these devastating and drastic cuts, please tell Congress to pass the Education Jobs Fund. Let your congressional representative know how you feel about children’s education and supporting teachers. Taking action now is critical because next week maybe too late! Go to http://www.capwiz.com/nea/issues/alert/?alertid=15045411&type=co to forward a letter directly to your representative and be heard. More information on this important legislation can be found at http://www.educationvotes.nea.org.