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Kline Statement on Stimulus Spending and Education Jobs

Responding to today’s announcement from the White House that 250,000 education-related jobs have been saved or created as a result of the economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee’s top Republican, Rep. John Kline (R-MN), issued the following statement: 

Once again, the Obama Administration’s promises are not matching economic reality. Even as Democrats claim credit for 250,000 education jobs since enactment of the stimulus eight months ago, workers are reminded that the U.S. economy shed more than a quarter-million jobs last month alone. Since the stimulus was enacted more than three million private-sector jobs have been lost, proving once again that Democrats have focused more on expanding government than helping small businesses create jobs. We’re left to ask: where are the new jobs that were promised? 

“Keeping teachers in the classroom is vital, but the report released today indicates neither economic recovery nor educational improvement. The report spurs far more questions than it answers. Were any new jobs actually created, or did states merely use federal dollars to replace state funding for current positions? Will these positions be eliminated once the temporary spending runs out, leaving workers – and students – out in the cold? Did this flood of spending keep or add teachers to classrooms, or did it merely pad state bureaucracy in an effort to deal with new federal paperwork? The answer to these questions and more is: No one knows.

“The Administration cannot even define what constitutes a job that has been ‘saved or created,’ and the job data states have self-reported has not yet been certified by the Administration. One of the only things we know for certain is that this unfettered federal spending has had the unintended consequence of causing states to scale back their own investments in our schools. What happens when the money and the jobs disappear?

On September 30, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education’s Inspector General released an alert memorandum showing that some states have apparently scaled back their education spending in response to temporary federal investments made under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. According to the IG, “some States’ budget proposals would reduce State support for public education back to the FY 2006 levels and replace the State funds with their [State Fiscal Stabilization Fund] allocation to free up State resources for non-education budget items. Depending on the level of State resources, this could reduce the percentage of the State’s revenue spent on public education.”

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