School Upgrades in Obama’s Jobs Bill in Jeopardy

2011 American Jobs Act logoLast month, President Obama went before Congress with a $447 billion jobs proposal that included tax cuts and new government spending, all designed to revive an economy that is still festering in a recessionary lull.

While there was some initial conciliatory language from the opposition party — Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement that “The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration” — as one would expect from a town where agreeing is equivalent to sacrilege, the proposal was struck down in the Senate. The bill got 50 votes, well short of the necessary 60 to pass. There were two dissenting Democrats, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana.

Some economists estimate the bill could create between 1.3 million to 1.9 million jobs in 2012. But it appears all for naught, since it included tax increases on the wealthy, which seemed to get Republicans riled up the most.

As with most bills, there are many moving parts, and in this case, it includes provisions for education. The jobs bill includes $30 billion to modernize schools, and an additional $35 billion to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters and other government workers.

Some of that money raised through tax increases would also go towards refurbishing outdated school buildings. What it also does in the process is create jobs for those people who are involved in the renovations.

In a speech stumping for the bill at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in North Carolina, President Obama pointed out how that school went from being rundown, to the additions of computers and state-of-the-art science labs, which also put 250 people to work. His idea is to do the same nationwide by renovating 35,000 schools across the U.S.

Now that we know the bill will not be passing in its original form, it comes down to figuring out what parts will pass through Congress. One thing most politicians will agree on is leaving in the extension of the payroll tax cut. An extension of unemployment insurance is also expected to pass. However, it is quite likely that the money allotted for other projects, including education, will be left out of the equation.

Also Read:

President Obama and the State of Education in the U.S.








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