President Barack Obama's $400 billion jobs bill includes a significant commitment to rehire teachers who have been laid off and to rehabilitate school buildings nationwide.
"Obama's American Jobs Act is a shot in the arm for school districts and communities suffering from massive state budget cuts and a brutal property tax cap," said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. "If it passes, states will be able to restore positions eliminated because of massive state aid cuts and create new positions that will put teachers back to work. Our congressional delegation must work to pass this bill ASAP — and we must fight to ensure that our state leaders maintain state aid and not merely cut it by an amount equivalent to the new federal aid."
The plan calls for renovating 35,000 school buildings and putting as many as 280,000 teachers back in classrooms.
The plan cuts payroll taxes in half for working families and small business owners, starting next year; it expands the tax cut already passed for FY 2011 for middle class families.
It provides extra tax credits for companies hiring American veterans and a $400,000 tax credit for hiring anyone who has been unemployed for more than six months. The bill extends unemployment insurance for another year.
Obama said the plan will not add to the deficit; it increases the amount the "Super Committee" must cut by an additional $400 billion.