Today, by vote of 247-161, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to provide $10 billion to support an estimated 160,000 education jobs nationwide and another $16 billion to help states fund Medicaid budgets. The U.S. Senate passed the bill last Thursday by a vote of 61-39. This evening, the President signed the bill into law.
"With the support of the jobs bill, these educators will be helping our children learn instead of looking for work," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "This is the right thing to do for our children, for our teachers, and for our economy."
Over the last two years, the Education Department has been able to support 300,000 education jobs through stimulus funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At this time, seven states have drawn down 100 percent of previously allocated jobs funding, while 18 states total have drawn down 80 percent or more. A July report from the independent Center on Education Policy found that 75 percent of school districts that received stimulus funds expect to cut teaching positions in the upcoming school year.
The $10 billion fund will support education jobs in the 2010-11 school year and be distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States can distribute their funding to school districts based on their own primary funding formula or districts' relative share of federal Title I funds.
In order to ensure that states receive funding as quickly as possible, the Department will streamline the application process so that states can submit applications within days. The Department will award funding to states within two weeks of their submission of an approvable application.