The national unemployment rate is approximately nine percent. Job cuts this year have exceeded the total of last year by more than 34,000. Teachers are being laid-off all over the U. S.
These troublesome statements are not new to Americans — pink slips have become as common as paychecks.
But could there be hope for America’s teachers? President Barack Obama seems to think so. In his September 8 address, Obama advocated for a proposal he hopes will serve as a start for America’s economic recovery. This proposal is known as the American Jobs Act and it may bring hope to teachers throughout the U.S.
Before delving into the American Jobs Act, it’s important to understand what occurs when teachers receive dreaded pink slips.
First of all, a pink slip doesn’t guarantee a teacher will be laid off. Oftentimes, teachers receive pink slips while their districts are still determining what teachers they can afford to keep.
Teachers waiting for a definite answer usually continue working until the end of the school year or when they are informed of if they’ll return the next year.
These teachers must continue teaching without knowing with certainty if they’ll still have a job. If a teacher is laid off, he or she faces the reality of trying to find another job among schools looking to downsize.
Many people believe the Jobs Act will help eliminate layoffs and the stress that follows.
One focus of this act is to stabalize teachers in their current jobs, as well as to rehire teachers who have lost their jobs.
An article from The White House Blog, described the positive effects of the American Jobs Act for teachers— “The plan includes funding to support 400,000 teaching jobs, including protecting up to 280,000 teachers who are at risk of being laid off due to state and local budget cuts as well as rehiring tens of thousands of teachers who have lost their jobs in the last three years.”
The American Jobs Act website shows how the act will affect the country as well as directly affect each state.
According to the website, President Obama plans to set aside 30 billion dollars to help teachers keep their jobs. This will hopefully “prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers” nationwide. An effort to retain and hire more first responder jobs—such as firefighters and cops— is included in this package, adding another five billion dollars for a total of 35 billion dollars.
The amount Idaho is expected to receive from this portion of the Jobs Act is 159.8 million dollars “to support up to 2,500 educator and first responder jobs.”
Planned renovations for schools will also affect teachers. Public schools, community colleges, etc. will benefit from more than 25 million dollars devoted to construction, expansions and restoration. Through these improvements, jobs will be created.
The possibility of teachers gaining security in their jobs brings hope to some of America, but some people still doubt whether the American Jobs Act will fulfill everything President Obama has promoted.
To listen to President Obama’s speech advocating the act, visit the White House website. To see the details of this act either visit the White House or American Jobs Act websites.