The American Jobs Act now pending in the U.S. Congress would extend an employment lifeline to Texas public schools and Texas education employees.
Statewide, it would substantially offset the deep cuts in state funding inflicted by the Texas legislature and Gov. Rick Perry earlier this year. They chopped $5.4 billion from state per-pupil aid plus grants to school districts, setting the stage for layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers and other school employees in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.
The proposed federal Jobs Act would counteract those cuts by providing $4.5 billion for Texas elementary and secondary public education: $2.2 billion in funds to save and create jobs, plus another $2.3 billion to upgrade school facilities.
This funding, following up on the $800 million in federal Edujobs money sent already this year to Texas school districts, would provide exactly what Texas public schools need to stave off the two-year budget disaster caused by our governor and legislature.
So get ready to call your U.S. senators (Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn) and your U.S. House member next week on AFT’s toll-free line to the U.S. Capitol: 1-866-327-8670. Tell them you support the American Jobs Act, and so should they—and tell them you won’t take no for an answer. (If you’re not certain who represents your area in the U.S. House, you can find out easily at this link: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/.)