News of the Day: New Jobs Bill Would Include Money for Facilities, EdujobsLast night the House passed the Jobs for Main Street Act. It makes a a $23 billion investment in a State Education Jobs fund that will be distributed by formula to states. This sort of backstop is vital because of stories like that faced by Prince George's County schools in Maryland.
According to the Washington Post:
Hundreds of jobs would be eliminated, furloughs would be imposed and student-teacher ratios would increase in many grades under a $1.67 billion budget for 2010-11 proposed by the Prince George's County superintendent Wednesday night.The Jobs for Main Street Act would provide money for teachers and programs within early education, K-12, and higher education. Some money could go toward school facilities. Districts are required to use the funds for compensation and benefits and services related to school modernization, renovation, and repair.
The budget calls for $42.5 million less in spending than this year's plan. Although spending would increase for some purposes -- such as the addition of 75 positions to staff four new schools -- the budget contains about $110 million in cuts, including the elimination of 490 positions.
As Alyson Klein at Education Week's blog, Politics K-12, says:
-States can't use education jobs money to replenish their rainy day and reserve funds, directly or indirectly, according to the bill. So no supplanting!Learn more about the Jobs for Main Street Act or watch Chairman Miller's Floor Statement in Support of the Jobs for Main Street Act.
-States can't use any more than 5 percent of the money for administrative purposes, including to retain or create jobs at the state higher education agency.
-There's no governor's fund that can be used for education, but also for public safety and other purposes. It's all education, all the time.
The measure also includes an additional $4.1 billion for school construction bonds. The stimulus had over $20 billion for the bonds, and so far, they have proved very popular.