Many St Louis teaching jobs hang in the balance.
A bill that would provide $10 billion in emergency public school funding throughout the nation is currently under debate in Congress. If passed, that bill could end up saving 3,200 education jobs in Missouri and more than 100,000 jobs across America.
Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro recently joined national Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in support of the pending legislation. Both leaders agree that the funding should not at the cost of other school reform programs, such as Race to the Top, a competitive education grant.
Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helped many states increase school spending, a recent report from the Center on Education Policy found that most of those school districts will now have to cut teaching jobs as federal stimulus money runs out.
Schools throughout Missouri are facing cuts to programs that took years to institute, including full-day kindergarten, art, music, Parents as Teachers, and summer school. However, many of those programs could be saved if Congress passes the pending legislation, according to an article by STLtoday.
If passed, the legislation could help reinstate many staff members at St. Louis Public Schools, including dozens of teacher assistants, parent advocates, and other support staff who took early retirement or were laid off.
It is still unclear as to whether Congress will ultimately pass that legislation. The House of Representatives already voted to cut other education programs in order to pay for the $10 billion in emergency funding, including $500 million from the Race to the Top program.
“We want to find a way to pay for this without compromising education reform,” Duncan said. “We’re seeing more change, more reform and more innovation. We need to reward those states taking education to the next level.”
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