State By State: Teachers Back To Work
The Teachers And First Responders Back To Work Act Will Provide $30 Billion In Funds To Support Nearly 400,000 Educator Jobs Across The Country
The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act will save or create nearly 400,000 education jobs through critical investments in the education of our nation’s children. With the majority of states facing budget shortfalls in 2012 totaling more than $100 billion, cuts to state and local spending on education place thousands of teacher jobs at risk. The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act will provide states with an additional $30 billion in funds that will support nearly 400,000 education jobs, in addition to $5 billion to keep thousands of cops and firefighters on the job. By asking millionaires to pay their fair share, The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act will grow the nation’s economy without adding a dime to the deficit.
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As a Result of Budget Shortfalls, The Majority of States Have Been Forced To Slash Education Spending. As a result of the most severe fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, states have faced total budget shortfall of $102.9 billion in 2012, a staggering 15.9% of their General Funds. Given the dramatic reduction in state revenue, two-thirds of states were forced to slash funding for K-12 educational programs and services and are now providing less per-student funding than they did in 2008. Seventeen states have slashed funding by at least 10 percent since 2008, while four states have been forced to reduce education funding by more than 20%. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 6/17/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/7/11]
Across the Country, Communities Have Lost Nearly 300,000 Education Jobs Since 2008. Given state cuts to education programs, local school districts are forced to cut back on educational programs and services, often laying-off needed teachers and other critical staff, or raising additional revenue to cover the shortfall. As a result, schools have cut 300,000 education jobs since 2008, accounting for 54% of all job losses in local government. Last year alone, schools cut nearly 200,000 education jobs. These unprecedented layoffs extended the recession and have slowed the recovery across the country. [White House, 10/4/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/7/11; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed on 10/14/11]
State and Local Funding Cuts Put As Many as 280,000 Teacher Jobs At Risk Next Year. With nearly half of all states facing budget shortfalls in 2013, states could again be forced to slash funding for K-12 educational programs and services. An estimated 280,000 teacher jobs could be cut next year alone, thereby dramatically slowing the recovery in communities across the country and reducing the quality of education. The Senate bill will more than offset projected layoffs, providing support for nearly 400,000 education jobs. [White House, 10/4/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 6/17/11]
Democrats Helped States Avoid Even Worse Situations, Preventing Thousands of Potential Layoffs. Recognizing the financial difficulty that many state and local governments were experiencing, Democrats shepherded the bipartisan Education Jobs Act into law in 2010, thereby protecting more than 160,000 education jobs across the country. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs are still at stake today. [U.S. Department of Education analysis, 8/6/10; National Education Association, 5/10]