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  • Billions More Taxpayer Stimulus Bucks for Public Education?

    Apparently $80 billion of stimulus funds for public education wasn’t enough. The Obama administration now says that the federal government should fork out $23 billion more in taxpayer money to save teaching jobs. If not, according to education Secretary Arne Duncan, we will see catastrophic teacher layoffs.

    Before calling for a crisis and demanding more taxpayer money, it would be a good idea to look at the facts. First, from the $80 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), states received $49 billion in a portion of the act known as the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Of this $49 billion, states have only spent $28 billion. Why then is it necessary to pass another costly spending bill?

    Furthermore, since (ARRA) passed, schools have continued to hire new staff, both teacher and non-teacher positions alike, with some schools creating entirely new jobs. Let’s take a look at some of the positions funded by the stimulus:

    • Website coordinators
    • Directors of planning and research
    • Janitorial staff
    • School support personnel
    • Professional development positions
    • Education coaches
    • Homeless liaisons
    • IT support
    • Transition coordinators
    • Food service staff
    • Office staff
    • Family center coordinators
    • School psychologists
    • Central administration staff
    • Career specialists
    • Behavior specialists
    • Curriculum coordinators
    • Technology coordinators
    • District coordinators
    • Recess aides
    • Consultants
    • Directors of student attendance
    • Athletic directors
    • Federal program directors

    If schools can afford to fill such positions, it hardly seems the United States will be facing a crisis of teacher layoffs if states do not receive more federal aid.

    Furthermore, the Obama administration claims this $23 billion bill will save between 100,000 and 300,000 teacher jobs. This means that each teacher job saved would cost the taxpayer between $76,000 and $230,000: an astronomical rate, compared to the average teacher salary of roughly $45,000.

    Besides the inefficiencies connected to actual employment, the proposed $23 billion stimulus bill would also likely lead to the creation of non-essential programs, as occurred with the passage of the first stimulus bill. With state budgets tightening their belts, governments shouldn’t be throwing more money into new programs.

    Relying on federal dollars is an unsustainable solution for improving state budgets and improving education, especially as our national debt continues to grow. School districts should make necessary cuts and implement changes that would lead to improved outcomes. Not only will this lessen the burden on an already indebted nation, but would instigate reform that will lead to academic improvement.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Billions More Taxpayer Stimulus Bucks for Public Education?

    1. Kevin habib says:

      The post makes me think the author has no children or sends them to private school. Also makes me think the author is not an economist.

      I'm shocked you can oppose $23b in emergency education funding. The states are taking an absolute beating and are required to balance their budgets. The recession that republican policies pushed our country into left states with vastly smaller revenues and the need to spend more on those who lost jobs and health benefits.

      I'm absolutely astonished. I can guarantee when the time comes next month to vote on the etsate tax, extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the highest income earners – the Republicans and neocons will change their tune. I can guarantee they will be pushing to repeal the estate tax and extend tax breaks for the highest earners – regardless of how damaging it woudl be to our budget and eocnomy.

      Have you not been awake the last 2 decades. We must save and create jobs during recession. Repub policies got us intop worst recession in 5 decades – just amazed there are people out there that still buy their nonsense.

    2. sharon travis pelham says:

      Our states and representatives have got to start following Govenor Christie's example and stand up and say "NO" to more public funding extensions! Especially to anything Union-related!! This is rediculous. Why do we even give openhanded public funding to union controlled public servant jobs?? Unions supported through tax dollars is extortion of citizens' hard earned money and should be disallowed by law.

    3. Tim AZ says:

      Just another way to expand Govt. and their union base. This should also further the collapse of America before the 2012 election.

    4. Drew Page, IL says:

      Enough already with this "More Money for Education" nonsense. It's just another payoff for the teachers' unions. Every year it's the same, "but it's for the children". Baloney. It's for higher salaries, fat benefits and even fatter pensions.

      We have spent billions upon billions on education and it's never enough.

      And after all that tax money spent, the kids aren't any smarter, in fact schools across the country are reducing their standards to accomodate the poorer performance of students. School administrators across the country are telling their teachers "teach to the test". No one cares if the kids learn anything, as long as they pass the "test". Why? Because the amount of money the schools get from the government is dependent upon these test scores.

    5. Randall Holland, Ari says:

      Again the democrats are trying to pay off the public unions and washing our money. What union is representing the cafeteria workers? You got it SEIU..

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    8. Gail, Beverly, MA says:

      Charter schools are making a difference in how children are taught and most of them are very successful. If traditional public schools were held to the same standards, most of them would fail. Contrary to what too many educators believe, charters are doing a better job and with less money. Rigorous curriculum, Direct Instruction, well-trained teachers, and a longer school day and school year are the cornerstones of well-educated children. Their biggest advantage is NO UNIONS ARE INVOLVED. I believe this is the only way public education will survive. Competition will be the answer. Charter schools are not just for poor performing schools, they should be for anyone who prefers an alternative to traditional public schools. GIVE ALL PARENTS A CHOICE.

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