The report places a heavy focus on class size in its arguments, providing figures through 2010 and noting that school administrators were projecting both increased class sizes and additional layoffs ahead.
“Parents know from common sense that laying off teachers, increasing class sizes, and cutting back on crucial programs hurts students,” the report states. “And a detailed look at the evidence – based on well-designed randomized experiments – confirms that larger class sizes have lasting negative effects: lowering high-school graduation rates, reducing the chance that students take college entrance exams like the ACT or SAT, and lowering the chance of college enrollment and completion.”
Citing an “unprecedented decline in local education jobs,” the White House noted that Obama’s teacher provision of the American Jobs Act “remains stalled in Congress.”
“The Congressional Republican plan could result in 200,000 low-income children losing access to early education,” the report states, adding that Medicaid cuts in the GOP plan could also “potentially further crowd out education funding.”
“The visions of the President and Congressional Republicans on education present a choice with important consequences for families, children, and communities.”
Obama coupled the report’s release with his weekly address, devoted to hammering Congress to back his $25 billion plan.
“Part of the jobs bill that I sent to Congress last September included support for states to prevent further layoffs and to rehire teachers who’d lost their jobs. But here we are – a year later with tens of thousands more educators laid off – and Congress still hasn’t done anything about it,” Obama said.
“In fact, the economic plan that almost every Republican in Congress voted for would make the situation even worse. It would actually cut funding for education – which means fewer kids in Head Start, fewer teachers in our classrooms, and fewer college students with access to financial aid – all to pay for a massive new tax cut for millionaires and billionaires,” the president added, rolling it into his call for letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for upper-income brackets.