In Support of $23 Billion for Education Jobs

May 20, 2010  |  1 Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  CEF Issues, Letters to Congress

On behalf of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of more than 80 national education associations and institutions from preschool to postgraduate education, we strongly urge you to support Sen. Harkin’s amendment to HR 4889, the Fiscal Year 2010 emergency supplemental appropriations bill.

The Harkin amendment would provide $23 billion for an education jobs fund to help struggling schools and colleges prevent significant numbers of layoffs and harmful cuts in programs for students.

States, school districts and colleges face a daunting double funding cliff.  While education funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have already been used to prevent massive layoffs and education cuts, the small amount of remaining ARRA funds will expire in the next school year.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009 ARRA funded over 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors. The loss of ARRA education funds will result in substantial cuts in education programs at all levels.  Second, due to unprecedented and growing state budget gaps, schools and colleges are facing additional deep cuts in state aid.

According to the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, states face a cumulative budget gap of $180 billion in fiscal year 2011 and $120 billion in 2012. A newly released survey by the American Association of School Administrators found that 275,000 teachers and other education employees face layoffs in the upcoming school year.  Education Secretary Duncan has called this a “catastrophe unfolding across the country… If we do not help avert this state and local budget crisis, we could impede reform and fail another generation of children.”

An education jobs fund will not only prevent layoffs of teachers, faculty, instructional support personnel and other staff, but will also help the economy. Investments in education pay off over the long-term by reducing unemployment and increasing family income.  In fact, based on recent unemployment data, individuals without a high school diploma were three times more likely to be unemployed than those with a bachelor’s or higher degree.  We urge you to vote for Sen. Harkin’s amendment, which is supported by more than 80 education, labor, and other organizations.

CEF is also deeply concerned about a $5.5 billion shortfall in the Pell Grant program for college students. While the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act provided new mandatory funding for portions of the Pell grant program, its costs have increased due to the economic downturn, as more people are attending college and eligibility for Pell grants has increased as family incomes have declined.

Unless Congress provides $5.5 billion in emergency funding for Pell grants, either the Pell grant maximum award for Fiscal Year 11 will have to be substantially reduced which will be harmful to eight million students, or all other education programs will face serious cuts. Thank you for considering our views.


  1. American Association of Classified School Employees (AACSE)
  2. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
  3. American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
  4. American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  5. American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  6. American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  7. American Council on Education (ACE)
  8. American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  9. American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)
  10. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  11. American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  12. American Library Association (ALA)
  13. American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
  14. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  15. APPA, Leadership in Educational Facilities
  16. ASCD
  17. Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning
  18. Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
  19. Association of American Publishers (AAP)
  20. Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT)
  21. Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA)
  22. Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  23. Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)
  24. Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)
  25. California Department of Education (CDE)
  26. California School Employees Association (CSEA)
  27. Chicago Public Schools
  28. Citizen Schools
  29. Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO)
  30. Coalition on Human Needs (CHN)
  31. Committee for Education Funding (CEF)
  32. Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  33. Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
  34. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  35. Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
  36. Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS)
  37. FED ED
  38. First Focus Campaign for Children
  39. Green Dot Public Schools
  40. Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
  41. International Reading Association (IRA)
  42. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
  43. Knowledge Alliance
  44. Latino Elected and Appointed Officials National Taskforce on Education
  45. Learning Disabilities Association Of America (LDA)
  46. Learning First Alliance (LFA)
  47. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
  48. National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)
  49. National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
  50. National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
  51. National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS)
  52. National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC)
  53. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  54. National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  55. National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
  56. National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)
  57. National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)
  58. National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP)
  59. National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  60. National Coalition of Classified Education Support Employee Unions (NCCESEU)
  61. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
  62. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  63. National Education Association (NEA)
  64. National Middle School Association (NMSA)
  65. National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA)
  66. National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition (NREAC)
  67. National Rural Education Association (NREA)
  68. National School Boards Association (NSBA)
  69. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
  70. National Title I Association CEF Letter on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill
  71. Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
  72. Scholastic, Inc.
  73. School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA)
  74. Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  75. State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
  76. Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
  77. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)
  78. The College Board
  79. The Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)
  80. The National Association for Music Education (MENC)
  81. The National High School Equivalency Program and College Assistance Migrant Program (HEP/CAMP)
  82. United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
  83. United States Student Association (USSA)
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One Response to In Support of $23 Billion for Education Jobs

  1. Deborah Ronco

    I taught Algebra I to a class of 42 and to one of 12. I can assure you that those students received two different instructional experiences. Both classes were expected to pass an end of the year proficiency test. I continually tell myself that life is not fair, but when it starts to affect the quality of education we are able to deliver to our students, something has to change.

    Florida, specifically St. Johns County, is forced to keep math class size down, and one of the options being implemented is to hire associate teachers. These teachers will be part-time with no benefits. Several reasons will negatively affect students: 1. Expert teachers will not work for less money with no benefits. 2. A part-time teacher will never be part of the professional community in the school. 3. Students will not relate to or trust a teacher that is not at the school for the entire school day. As a math teacher, I offer tutoring before, during, and after school. This would be impossible if I was only there for a half-day.

    Government officials need to stop cutting the educational fund and find other ways to balance the states’ budget.

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