WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today joined in
introducing a bill to help prevent educator layoffs.
The economic downturn of the past two years has led to
extremely tight state budgets. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
– legislation that is helping rebuild the New Mexico economy – provided
over $500 million over two years to support our state’s schools and
prevent educator layoffs that harm students and the future of our state.
While the economy is beginning to show signs of growth, state budgets
continue to suffer. Many New Mexico school districts have been forced in
recent months to consider workforce reductions to remain solvent. To
bolster our public schools and prevent educator layoffs, Bingaman has
joined Senator Tom Harkin in introducing the Keep Our Educators Working
Act today. The bill will create a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund to help
keep teachers, principals, librarians and other school personnel on the
job as states face crippling budget shortfalls.
“We cannot be a prosperous nation without an educated workforce. As the
economy gains strength, we need to continue investing in our schools and
our children,” Bingaman said. “This legislation would help bolster
schools budgets, keep teachers in classrooms and provide students with the
best opportunities to learn.”
New Mexico would receive approximately $150 million under the Keep Our
Educators Working Act. Funding could be used for:
• Compensation and benefits and other expenses necessary to retain
existing employees, and for the hiring of new employees, in order to
provide early childhood, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary
educational and related services; or
• On-the-job training activities for education-related careers.