President Obama – As school budgets have tightened, the result has been fewer teachers, larger classrooms and shortened school years, according to a White House report. President Obama says that it shows the need for Congress to pass the proposals he set forth to help states reduce teacher layoffs.
Conducted by the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, the study showed that 300,000 jobs have been lost since the end of the recession in 2009. Student-to-teacher ratios increased by 4.6 percent from 2008 to 2010 and they remain on track to grow even more.
Nearly a year ago, Obama introduced a jobs plan that he says would provide money for states to keep teachers, police and firefighters on the job. His plan includes payroll tax cuts and jobless insurance provisions that Congress has already passed.
“If we want America to lead in the 21ts century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible—from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.
The report says that since the fall of 2010, local governments have cut 150,000 education jobs. While the private sector has continued to slowly create jobs, the public sector is in steady decline, posting monthly job losses.
According to Obama’s plan, $25 billion dollars in aid would be allocated to protect teachers from layoffs while also financing other education jobs in an effort to retain both state and local government jobs.
As with most of the legislation he has tried to pass, Obama has found himself in a partisan stalemate with Republicans as he tries to press Congress to act. The GOP has drafted a proposal of its own but has failed to make significant progress in a Democratic-controlled Senate.
The president says that their proposal would in fact make things worse because it would cut even more into education spending to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
“That’s backwards,” said Obama. “That’s wrong. That plan doesn’t invest in our future.”