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Campaign 101: Obama Wants $25 Billion to Prevent Teacher Layoffs

And with this morning's report, the campaign opens a new education front and attack strategy against Paul Ryan's budget.

by
Bridget Johnson

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August 18, 2012 - 3:00 am
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President Obama released a 20-page report this morning intended to make a case for sinking $25 billion into preventing teacher layoffs and supporting “hundreds of thousands of teacher and other education jobs.”

This latest “investment” plan from the White House is destined to become a hot topic on the campaign trail, as the report indicates more than 300,000 local education jobs have been lost since the end of the recession and the president ties further projected losses to the GOP budget plan.

The national student-teacher ratio increased by 4.6 percent from 2008 to 2010, the White House said, “rolling back all the gains made since 2000.”

“Think about what that means for our country. At a time when the rest of the world is racing to out-educate America; these cuts force our kids into crowded classrooms, cancel programs for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and shorten the school week and the school year,” Obama said. “That’s the opposite of what we should be doing as a country.”

The report also opens up a new strategic front against GOP vice presidential pick Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), claiming that the House Republican budget slashes education funding for special-ed kids and would leave even more teachers jobless. “If cuts were distributed evenly, this budget would imply $2.7 billion in cuts to basic Title I education grants, meaning that nearly 38,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs as a result of cuts to Title I spending alone,” the report states. “Cuts would also be made to early childhood education and special education, significantly impairing schools’ ability to best serve their students.”

“That’s backwards.  That’s wrong.  That plan doesn’t invest in our future; it undercuts our future,” said Obama. “If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible – from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”

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