Senate Approves Teacher Bill

The U.S. Senate recently passed a $10 billion bill to preserve teachers’ jobs throughout the nation, according to an article in District Administration.

            The bill will also send $16 billion for Medicaid purposes.

            Naturally, the $10 billion will not eliminate all teacher layoffs. However, it is expected to save 140,000 American teachers’ jobs.

            This bill is being passed in response to consistent reports that tens of thousands of teachers lost their jobs in April. Also, at that time, more layoffs were expected.

            House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said she would call House members back from their August recess for the House vote, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10th.  The House is expected to approve the bill, which would send it to President Barack Obama for consideration.

            The $10 billion bill will be sent to schools across the nation that are struggling financially, in hopes of alleviating further teacher layoffs.

            Republicans tried to counter this bill with a filibuster. The bill then needed a “supermajority” of at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass. The bill passed 61-39.

            The foundations for this bill have been debated in Congress for several weeks now. The bill received the necessary additional push when two Republicans from Maine, Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins contrasted their party.

            The $10B for education will be channeled through the states to local education agencies. How much money a school will receive will be based either on a state's formula for distributing state aid or the Title I formula.

            Congress is hoping this bill will enhance the learning environment in many public schools. This bill will preserve many teachers’ jobs, creating smaller classrooms and more effective, lower student-to-teacher-ratios.

            This will give students more one-on-one time with teachers, and teachers will be able to better respond to individual students’ needs.