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Estimate: Jobs Bill May Mean 5,500 Jobs Saved in OH Schools

August 16, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - School leaders across Ohio are anxious to learn how a national jobs bill signed into law last week will affect their districts. The legislation will send $361 million to Ohio to be used for education jobs to support student learning. Thousands of education positions have been lost across the state in recent years due to budget cuts, including teachers, support staff and bus drivers.

Sue Taylor, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, she says the money could save an estimated 5,500 jobs in the state.

"It's been very, very difficult times, and this legislation and these resources will stave off cuts to our schoolchildren."

Ohio will receive its share of the money after the application process and it can be used now or next year. Taylor said she hopes the funds are put to use immediately.

"When teachers are in the unemployment line, that doesn't do students any good, so this will help to keep more teachers in the classroom, directly instructing students. "

State leaders have not indicated when the estimates for how much districts can expect to receive will be available.

Many Republicans in Congress have labeled the federal bill a bailout to states and a payoff to teachers' unions. Critics have also said the jobs bill money is a one-shot deal that could ultimately leave a big question mark as to how school districts will make up the difference next year and beyond.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH