Green Room

Surprise! Teachers Not Receiving the $10 Billion Promised by Obama and Pelosi

posted at 8:52 am on August 18, 2010 by

What was touted as legislation to “save the teachers” by President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, the New York Times reports that most school districts are taking advantage of the loophole in the $26 Billion legislation.

“A $26 billion federal aid package, signed by President Obama on Aug. 10, allocates $10 billion for school districts to retain or rehire teachers, counselors, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and others — with the remainder of the money directed toward health care for the poor, emergency personnel and other state purposes.

The education measure requires states to distribute the money for the current school year, but allows school districts to spend it as late as September 2012. It also allows schools to roll back furlough days. The education department estimates it could salvage about 160,000 jobs.”  (emphasis mine) link

A total of 300,000 jobs were predicted to be “saved or created” by passing legislation even the President admitted was a special interest bill:

“We can’t stand by and do nothing while pink slips are given to the men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe,” Mr. Obama told reporters in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.

“If America’s children and the safety of our communities are your special interests, then it is a special-interest bill,” Mr. Obama added. “But I think those interests are widely shared throughout this country.” link

Instead, according to the Times, the “special interest” appears to be the school districts, (looking at future shortfalls), planning on keeping the money and not re-hiring teachers already laid off:

“As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

With the economic outlook weakening, they argue that big deficits are looming for the next academic year and that they need to preserve the funds to prevent future layoffs. Los Angeles, for example, is projecting a $280 million budget shortfall next year that could threaten more jobs.”  Link

It’s anyone’s guess where the $10 billion will go now. Or the other $16 billion that was supposed to be directed to the state’s Medicaid programs. Of course, tapping into U.S. corporations investing in foreign markets, and cutting food stamps in 2014 will pay for this latest “special interest” bailout. Right?  While Obama and Pelosi continue their record deficit spending, some how the “trickle-up” process doesn’t seem to be working.

Update:  Communications expert and political consultant Liz Mair reports that Barbara Boxer also promised teacher’s jobs would be saved:

As you will recall, Barbara Boxer was recently claiming that the $26 billion aid package touted by her and signed into law earlier this month by President Obama would “keep 16,500 teachers on the job.”

With Carly Fiorina’s poll numbers now within the margin of error, Ms. Boxer better come up with a reasonable excuse for why she deserves any votes from these 16,000 teachers.  This must come under the long list of broken promises the Democratic Party is so proficient at during their campaigns.

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Best way to save the schools, do what we did, get rid of the illegal aliens — Our sherrif is part of the 287G law.

Now we have plenty of unused schools and more than our share of idle teachers. The union is fighting hard, but losing. The kids are finding great sport taking phone camera shots of their empty classrooms.

tarpon on August 18, 2010 at 9:03 AM

This is almost fiscally prudent (almost). They’re putting aside the money for future expenses, in case funding falls againg. Ok, it’s only two years, but the concept of a rainy day fund is at least there.

Perhaps they see that a GOP takeover of the House and maybe Congress means the end of the gravy train and might as well spread it out over a few years rather than blowing it this school year.

Wethal on August 18, 2010 at 9:44 AM

The states/school districts are doing the same thing big/small business is doing, hoarding cash expecting hard times and uncertainties down the road. I’m holding back on a major purchase for just the same reason. We all know the feds are bankrupt and this could be the last installment from them.

Kissmygrits on August 18, 2010 at 9:46 AM

The purpose of these funds was expressly stated as not to be used for “rainy-day” surplus:

(6) PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR RAINY-DAY FUNDS OR DEBT RETIREMENT- A State that receives an allocation may not use such funds, directly or indirectly, to–
(A) establish, restore, or supplement a rainy-day fund;
(B) supplant State funds in a manner that has the effect of establishing, restoring, or supplementing a rainy-day fund;
(C) reduce or retire debt obligations incurred by the State; or
(D) supplant State funds in a manner that has the effect of reducing or retiring debt obligations incurred by the State.

jwehman on August 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM

This is almost fiscally prudent (almost). They’re putting aside the money for future expenses, in case funding falls again. Wethal on August 18, 2010 at 9:44 AM

The money will once again have to come from the taxpayers and further this growing national debt. “Prudent” were these Democrats convincing themselves that food stamp reduction in 2014 will transpire. So, what your saying is instead of saving 160k teacher’s jobs, (as Obama and Pelosi touted), the Democrats ripped off another 26 billion from the taxpayers so school districts and state governments could pad their broken bureaucracies?

Rovin on August 18, 2010 at 11:54 AM

This is almost fiscally prudent (almost). They’re putting aside the money for future expenses, in case funding falls againg. Ok, it’s only two years, but the concept of a rainy day fund is at least there.

Wethal on August 18, 2010 at 9:44 AM

How can borrowing the money from the Chinese in order to set it aside for any purpose considered fiscally prudent? If the government were running a surplus, there might be some justification for this — but, as we well know, that just isn’t the case.

cthulhu on August 18, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Rovin on August 18, 2010 at 11:54 AM

cthulhu on August 18, 2010 at 1:16 PM

This is almost fiscally prudent (almost). (Note, I didn’t say anything about the source of the money, just what the school districts were doing with it. They’re two different issues.)

As kissbygrits notes, they’re holding on to it, at least as they are able up to 2012, rather than spending it all on the current year, which is possibly what the Dems wanted, Some hirings were already fixed for the fall year, so nothing could be done to beef up the union rolls so the additional dues could pass through for 2010 campaign contributions from the unions.

Wethal on August 18, 2010 at 1:24 PM

…but but but what about the children?????

/sarc

search4truth on August 18, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Lot of what is really dead wood in the schools. Folks who hang in offices where kids are sent for ‘testing’ now and then. So called counselors who’s counseling is a patent waste of time and money and effects no discernable change. Shrinks who often can’t make it in the real world running from school to school supposedly preventing or easing some kind of ‘trauma’ or other. People whose job is simply scoring endless tests of this or that skill or emotional problem or what have you. Some of these have never set foot in a classroom, ever covered a study hall or supervised a cafeteria or anything else particularly useful or necessary. Dead wood riding the gravy train which just got larger.

jeanie on August 18, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I wonder how much of it is going directly into reelection campaigns, and skipping the middlemen.

cthulhu on August 18, 2010 at 5:25 PM

We were just informed that once again the taxpayers in MT will be on the hook to bailout the teacher pension fund. It seems the investments made on behalf of the fund haven’t done as well as expected since the stock market hasn’t recovered to pre-Obummer levels. No mention was made in the article as to how much each retiree gets per month or whether they also get SS. I’m sure they do. If I was about to retire from teaching here, I believe I’d take a lump sum if offered. No ideas from our D governor on how to raise the money, except to raise taxes.

Kissmygrits on August 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM