Teaching Our Way to a Stronger Economy
In order to compete and win internationally, our nation needs a highly educated workforce that is second to none. Rising levels of education are critical to creating shared economic growth and mobility for every American. And keeping America's teachers in our classrooms is central to that goal.
Over the past several months, President Obama has been working with Congress to pursue this legislation that would make sure these thousands of teachers can return to their schools and classrooms in the coming months. The legislation signed by the President in August 2010 marks an investment in our economic prosperity and in our children's future. Without it, the loss of thousands of jobs by teachers and other education personnel would have rippled through the larger economy and undercut the nation's recovery.
As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has traveled across the nation to discuss our Administration's education agenda and our work to deliver a complete and competitive education to all children, he has witnessed firsthand the looming cuts that school districts faced as a result of the current economy.
For example, in Iowa, schools were weighing layoffs of 1,500 education personnel - half of them teachers. Ames, Iowa had planned to cut kindergarten from full-day to half-day - even though research shows that students benefit from extra instruction. One school district in Washington state had plans to cut 10 percent of its teachers. And the Board in Charlotte, North Carolina, voted on a budget that will result in approximately 500 teacher layoff notices.
--Diane Sledden Reed,