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The Democrats call their $26 billion, Big Labor/bankrupt states’ bailout legislation the “EduJobs” bill.
Let’s inject some truth in advertising.
The “EduJobs” bill is nothing but a BigGovJobs bill — a massive election season pay-off to Democrat special interests. With your money.
I noted last week that Nancy Pelosi is summoning her minions back to Washington for a special session to rush the Senate-approved legislation into President Obama’s hands (the House had approved an earlier version of the bill). As with so many other political wealth redistribution schemes peddled by the ruling majority and championed by the White House, this one comes wrapped in endless, specific-seeming promises of salvation (it will save “3,000” in Washington state, “5,000 slots” in Illinois, and “4,200” in Michigan).
“This is potentially great news, because in these economic times we can use some bridge to get us through,” said Lisa Freiburger, chief of operations for Grand Rapids Public Schools. “But we also have some huge questions.”
The bill cleared the Senate on a 61-39 vote, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated she plans to call representatives back from their August break to vote on the bill, which President Obama is expected to sign.
According to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, Michigan’s $318 million allotment would be the seventh-highest, behind Texas, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.
The money could be used to cover an estimated 4,200 jobs.
Some of the money comes from other school programs, with $50 million cut from an adolescent literacy program, nearly $11 million from a teacher technology plan and $82 million from a student financial aid administration plan.
But school officials said they have no idea what strings would be attached to the money, whether the state legislature would approve the cash as part of a special supplemental budget, how long the money would last, and how they would pay for stop-gap measures while waiting for the taxpayer funds to flow.
Officials in Maine know it’s all just another empty game of kick the can:
…will Maine’s $39 million share from the education jobs package actually restore lost teacher jobs?
First, there’s the bureaucracy to deal with.
“It would clearly take some months for us to pull it together,” Maine Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin told me when I first asked him about the education jobs package two weeks ago.
That’s because, if the money is handled at all like economic stimulus funds, states will have to apply for their share, the feds will have to approve it and state education officials will have to figure out how to distribute it.
Second, school districts might be skeptical about another federal handout.
After all, they’re already dealing with the reality that their share of economic stimulus money will dry up after the upcoming school year.
“That’s the cliff that people are talking about,” Augusta schools Superintendent Cornelia Brown told me two weeks ago.
The education jobs package is likely another pool of one-time money.
So, if districts return positions to their payrolls in September and the revenue outlook doesn’t improve substantially for the 2011-12 school year, the cliff might be that much steeper during upcoming school budget season.
Who really benefits? You guessed it:
…Kyle Olson of the Education Action Group argues the bill is payback to unions that have supported congressional campaigns.
The Muskegon-based union watchdog estimates the NEA would get about $36 million in dues from the bill, and the American Federation of Teachers would realize about $14 million.
“It’s not about student achievement. It’s about protecting the adults,” he said. “Public schools have a spending problem, not a funding problem. Pelosi and her regime are perpetuating the problem at a time America literally can’t afford it.”
Mark Tapscott notes that the tax-dollar dependent National Education Association is hard at work….pushing its dues-paying members to lobby Washington to pass BigGovJobs.
Mike Antonucci at Hot Air reports that while the Dems push the teachers’ union bailout, school districts across the country are rehiring laid-off teachers without having to reach into other people’s pockets.
The hurried House vote on this latest Pass It Now/Read It Later bailout is expected Tuesday.
Help stop the BigGovJobs political protection plan:
Protests are planned in at least a dozen states, and Tea Party activists are set to show up at Congressional offices Saturday through Monday, according to conservative activists familiar with their plans.
Demonstrations will occur at the offices of Democrats’ facing tough re-election races, including Reps. Betsy Markey (Colo.), Dina Titus (Nev.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), John Spratt (S.C.) and Rick Boucher (Va.), according to a planning paper circulating among conservative groups.
Phone numbers for those vulnerable Dems:
Betsy Markey (202) 225-4676
Titus (202) 225-3252
Heinrich (202) 225-6316
Pomeroy (202) 225-2611
Spratt (202) 225-5501
Boucher (202) 225-3861
The bill would be paid for mainly by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations and reducing food stamp benefits for the poor. It passed mainly along party lines by a vote of 247-161.
Representatives scattered around the country and world for the August break were summoned back to Washington for the one-day session as Democrats stressed the need to act before children return to classrooms missing teachers laid off because of budgetary crises in the states.
Two Republicans voted for the bailout — Castle and Cao.
The 3 Dems who voted no on BigGovJobs bill: Bright-Alabama, Cooper-TN & Taylor-Miss.
Update: Obama signs the bill…surrounded by teachers.