WASHINGTON — As an addendum to yesterday’s story about the White House’s estimate that the American Jobs Act would support 400,000 teaching jobs: the funding for those jobs would last one year only.
That’s according to Katharine Abraham, a member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, who spoke with reporters on the jobs act’s teaching provisions on Tuesday. The bill would only fund the jobs for one year, leaving state and local governments to support funding for teachers after the federal money runs out. The White House is betting the economy will recover enough by then to make that possible.
The Daily Caller, a conservative news website, reports:
The bill, if approved by Congress, would allow the money to be spent over two years, so it could support 200,000 employees over those two years, said Abraham, who has taken leave from her teaching job at the University of Maryland
Also, state and local governments won’t be firing 200,000 or 400,000 teaching jobs if they don’t get the money, she explained. Instead, the money is intended to save up 280,000 teachers that might be laid off.
The money, she added, is for “teacher jobs that could be at risk in the coming year,” because of budget problems in local and state government.
“We’re trying to prevent those additional [280,000 possible] layoffs and bring back some of the educators who have lost their jobs over the last few years,” [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan said.
Because of budget problems, “we’ve lost 300,000 local education jobs over the last three years,” Abraham declared.
When asked to explain how state and local government could afford to keep the 200,000, 280,000, 300,000 or 400,000 teachers that would be temporarily funded by the stimulus act, White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest predicted “the economy will bounce back and make things easier down the road … we’re trying to cushion the blow now.”