Last week the Senate blocked a portion of President Obama’s jobs bill aimed at saving a host of teaching jobs across the country.
By a 51-49 vote, Senate Republicans and some Democrats voted down the bill, which would have provided $30 billion to retain and hire an estimated 280,000 teachers in K-12, especially those in danger of losing their jobs.
The measure required 60 votes to advance.
According to the White House, the funding was geared for teachers in STEM fields, science, technology, engineering and math.
“It is not particularly surprising that they would not support the funding,” said Robert Voors, superintendent of the Glendora Unified School District. “Our state and federal elected leaders publicly support education, as do the public who rank education as their No. 1 priority, but far too often it does not translate into the No. 1 priority when funding is allocated.”
“Living in the 21st century requires increased understanding of STEM concepts and increased use of STEM skills,” said Chuck Gomer, Glendora Unified board member. “A focused effort to increase the knowledge base of our students and our society in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is too important for us to just avoid.”
After an initial defeat the bill was broken into individual ones in an attempt to get the president’s plans passed.
The portion was part of Obama’s American Jobs Bill, which he touted back in early September as a cure-all for the nation’s faltering economy, which is having an adverse affect on the nation’s public school system.
“We would appreciate any help we can get on teacher jobs funding,” said Jeanine Robertson, assistant superintendent of educational services for Charter Oak. “We’ve had to increase class sizes … support for teacher salaries would help us lower class sizes.”
A recent San Gabriel Valley Tribune article mentioned a study by a San Francisco-based think tank, WestEd, came to the conclusion that only 10 percent of the state’s students receive proper education in the sciences, while about 40 percent of the state’s elementary teachers spend an hour or less a week teaching science.
“Our funding depends much more on the state than the federal government, but any time we either lose revenue or potential funding, we all lose,” Voors said.