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Who Needs Edujobs? Ohio Weighs In

Congress and the Obama administration recently agreed to send $10 billion in education jobs aid to the states, but a recent news story questions whether that money is needed.

The Columbus Dispatch conducted a survey of 17 of Ohio's largest school districts and found that fewer than 500 of their collective school employees, including teachers, had lost their jobs this year. More than half of those districts had laid off no one.

Ohio received $361 million through the federal Education Jobs Fund, which was approved in August and will send $10 billion in jobs aid and $16 billion in Medicaid money to the states. The administration has argued that the measure will save 160,000 jobs in nationwide—and 5,500 of them in Ohio.

The newspaper's finding prompted some observers, such as Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi of Ohio, to question whether the edujobs aid was really needed. Of course, as the Dispatch notes, the urgency could grow in the time ahead: Ohio is facing a projected $8 billion budget shortfall over the next two years. Many districts are worried about their budgets drying up, and they're planning on socking away some of the edujobs money for a future, cash-bereft day.

They're not the only ones; many states and district officials, such as those in Florida, are worried about a "funding cliff" when federal economic-stimulus funds run out, and they have talked about the education jobs funds providing the stability they need.

How urgently does your state or district need edujobs funding? And how will that money be used?

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