As expected, in today’s emergency session, the House passed a $26 billion state-aid bill. $10 billion of the funds are earmarked to prevent teacher layoffs for this upcoming school year. The bill passed the Senate last week. Now that the House has also passed it, the bill will go to President Obama for a final approval.
Many legislators praised the passing of the bill, claiming it would save jobs and improve the quality of education in their own districts. Says Barney Frank (D-Mass), “It means you’re gonna get funds for states. You’re going to have firefighters, teachers, public works employees back.” Pelosi estimates that the $26 billion legislation will save or create 319,000 jobs in total, which includes police officers and firefighters, as well as teachers.
Currently, the House and the Senate are both on six week recesses. Senate leader Nancy Pelosi called for last week’s emergency session on the grounds that if the bill did not pass before the start of the school year, over 100,000 teachers around the country would be laid off. As soon as the bill passed, the House also called for this emergency session on the same grounds.
Christi Grab is Parentella’s Editorial Director and author of The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People Part 1 – San Diego to Australia. She is currently working on book two of the series.