Federal legislation could prevent layoffs

"Sen. Tom Harkin" by Flickr user civilrights.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding will expire at the end of fiscal year 2010, leaving many states and school districts scrambling to shore up their finances. Columbus City Schools laid off 113 teachers on Friday, April 23. The National Education Association predicts more than 125,000 educator layoffs will happen in the next three months.

To prevent massive educator layoffs, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) recently introduced the Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010. The proposed legislation would provide $23 billion in one-year aid to save education jobs across the nation.

 “This crucial education funding would save hundreds of thousands of education jobs, and it would be a tremendous help to states in dire financial circumstances,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “But more importantly, it ensures that millions of America’s students will not have to bear the brunt of our nation’s economic woes.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently testified in front of a Senate committee, urging Congress to pass funding that would help prevent massive teacher layoffs across the country. Ohio could receive more than $800 million in additional one-time funding if the Keep Our Educators Working Act becomes law.

Contact Senator George Voinovich and Senator Sherrod Brown to urge passage of the Keep Educators Working Act of 2010; go to http://bit.ly/bQwMH8.