Both bills contain $23 billion for education and if passed could mean approximately $309,987,000 for Kentucky to sustain educational programs and save teachers' jobs.
The Keep Our Educators Working Act
Will Create an Education Jobs Fund
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and of the Senate Appropriations panel that funds education initiatives, introduced the Keep Our Educators Working Act today. The bill will create a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund to help keep teachers, principals, librarians and other school personnel on the job as states face crippling budget shortfalls.
“This country is about to face 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,” Senator Harkin said. “This bill is an investment in our kids, in our economy and in our future.”
The Keep Our Educators Working Act will create an Education Jobs Fund modeled after the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) that was established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the ‘Recovery Act’).
The SFSF is currently supporting more than 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors, and is widely credited with mitigating the impact of the recent recession. However, even with the SFSF, schools across the country have laid off workers, and the job outlook is worse for the 2010-2011 school year. Additional resources are needed to help states and districts avoid a “funding cliff” that would result in even more layoffs.
“Recent headlines make the case that two pillars of the American dream – a good job and a good education – are at risk for millions upon millions of our citizens,” Harkin said. “At this point in our fragile recovery, we need to put Americans back to work educating the next generation, and that’s what this bill does.”
The $23 billion included in the Keep Our Educators Working Act is roughly half of the amount dedicated to state aid in the SFSF, and is equal to the amount passed by the House in its December 2009 jobs legislation.
Funding could be used for:
• Compensation and benefits and other expenses necessary to retain existing employees, and for the hiring of new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary educational and related services; or
• On-the-job training activities for education-related careers.
JOBS FOR MAIN STREET ACT OF 2010
The country is struggling to overcome the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. With eight million jobs lost and 15 million people still out of work, the number of unemployed has more than doubled in the last two years. Main Street has been hit especially hard. Many families cannot pay their bills or mortgage payments, and trillions of dollars of wealth have been stripped from retirement accounts. The recession has led to job cuts and reductions in vital services, including education and health, which help some of the most vulnerable among us.
At the start of the year, the nation’s economy was in disastrous freefall, losing nearly one million full time jobs a month. Nothing could prevent additional job losses, but Congress had an obligation to act to limit job loss as much as possible. That is why the Recovery Act was passed, and it is doing what it was intended to do. It has supported over a million jobs – including teachers, police officers, and construction workers – and limited cutbacks in critical services that would have otherwise been necessary for states to keep a balanced budget this year. And the rate of job loss has declined, with only 11,000 jobs lost last month.
Unfortunately, families and small businesses are still struggling to make ends meet in these tough economic times. Continued high unemployment takes a toll – both on those unemployed and their families who experience the frustration of not finding work and on their community which must support them. Additional government action is required to help. That is why the Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010 redirects $75 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) savings from Wall Street to Main Street to fund infrastructure and job investments to further stabilize jobs and provides additional emergency funding to help families who are suffering.
The bill redirects $48.3 billion from Wall Street to help put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing public buildings, and cleaning our air and water...
Among the efforts:
School Renovation Grants: $4.1 billion to allow State, local, or tribal governments to receive a federal grant equal to the cost of tax credits that would otherwise be payable on bonds issued to finance school construction, rehabilitation or repair.
Education Jobs Fund: $23 billion for an Education Jobs Fund to help States support an estimated 250,000 education jobs over the next two years. 95% of the funds will be allocated by States to school districts and public institutions of higher education to retain or create jobs to provide educational services and to modernize, renovate, and repair public education facilities. The remaining 5% of funds is reserved for State education-related jobs and administration of the Education Jobs Fund.
College Work Study: $300 million to support the College Work Study program, which supports low- and moderate-income undergraduate and graduate students who work while attending college. Together with institutional matching funds, this appropriation will help approximately 250,000 students stay in school.