We’ve discussed the FMAP stimulus legislation here at ALO before (http://aloyalopposition.in/2010/06/18/fmap.) Well, it is coming to a head and despite the fact that cuts have been made to make the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs bill completely deficit neutral, Senator Dick Lugar and the rest of Governor Mitch Daniels anti-teacher brigade continue to oppose it solely to bring failure to the Obama administration.
Learn about this bill yourself and then call Senators Bayh and Lugar to encourage them to vote for the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment to the FMAP/edujobs legislation.
Hear State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Elletsville) discuss the stimulus needed in the FMAP bill here on The Dave Crooks Show. And here are just a few of the key points to know about this legislation that will help keep Hoosier schools from closing, keep teachers in the classrooms and keep class sizes from ballooning:
• The economic collapse created a disaster for states and schools across the country, and it’s going to take a long time for them to recover, even after we turn the corner.
• States and schools are facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. While the economy is starting to improve, states face a cumulative budget gap of $200 billion in fiscal year 2010 and $180 billion in fiscal year 2011.
• A recent report by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers found that 35 States cut funding for K12 education and 37 States did so for higher education in Fiscal Year 2010, with 31 States planning to impose additional K12 and higher education cuts in Fiscal Year 2011.
• Education jobs and services have already been slashed to the bone. Schools have raised class sizes, instituted unpaid furlough days, laid off teachers, and cut back on programs our kids need to be successful.
• According to a study by the University of Washington, even though ARRA prevented an education catastrophe, 87,019 K12 jobs were eliminated this past school year.
• Overall, since August 2008, State and local governments have eliminated 242,000 jobs.
• Up to 400,000 workers could lose jobs in the next year as states, counties and cities grapple with lower revenue and less federal funding, says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com.
• Schools are facing as many as 300,000 layoffs of teachers, counselors, school nurses, and other critical staff.
• A recent Center on Education Policy report, School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package, found that “While nearly two-thirds of all school districts have used the federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to save or create teaching jobs in the 2009-10 school year, as many as three quarters of the nation’s school districts expect to cut teaching jobs in 2010-11 due to budget decreases…”
• Losing these education jobs wouldn’t just affect the individuals getting pink slips. It would have a catastrophic ripple effect across communities, dragging our economy downward again.
• For every 100,000 education jobs eliminated, 30,000 other jobs, including those in the private sector will also vanish.
• The $10 billion education jobs fund in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment is fully offset (without the House-passed education offsets) and will not increase the deficit.
• According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), spending $10 billion to save education jobs will only have a net impact on the deficit of only $4.75 billion, after accounting for an increase in GDP. Thus, since the entire $10 billion is offset, the education jobs fund will actually reduce the deficit by $5.25 billion.
• According to the Education Commission of the States, a $10 billion education jobs fund would save at least 136,758 education jobs.
• President Obama on June 12th said that an education jobs fund is “among the most cost-effective ways of promoting economic growth, as measured by the Congressional Budget office and numerous independent experts.”
• Even those advocating for long-term deficit reduction recognize the need for an education jobs fund. “Right now, I think that there’s still a case to be made for some aid to the states if it is a pretty direct form of injecting stimulus.” Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition.
• According to a recent Gallup poll, the American public, by a 60-38 percent margin favor “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
• Morton Kondracke, Roll Call Executive Editor, on June 17th strongly urged Congress to approve an education jobs fund, “At long last, Congress is getting serious about containing deficit spending, but it would be ridiculous to show it by allowing more than 100,000 teachers around the country to lose their jobs… So it’s time for Congress to do what it’s hired to do: set priorities. Keeping teachers working should be close to Job One.”
• Just as we start to see signs that our economy is turning around, there could be nothing more short-sighted than ripping a gaping hole in our schools and communities.
• These are jobs at the core of our communities – teaching our kids, keeping class sizes manageable, providing summer school, preparing students to enter the workforce, and providing the foundation of our economic future.
• We can’t afford not to do the right thing, to keep teachers in our classrooms, our schools on track, and our education system improving.
• We can’t improve the economy and reduce unemployment by increasing public sector unemployment.
• Ensuring quality education for children pays off. Individuals without a high school diploma are three times as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree.
• The language in the Murray-Harkin-Reid-Schumer amendment prohibits states from using funds for rainy day funds or to reduce state debt obligations.
• The funds may only be used to save or create jobs for teachers and other educators.
Also of note here are some key points for thoise who doubt stimulus has helped the economy. Note the following charts from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: