With the large amount of job and spending cuts the public sector has made in the past year it is hard to imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. But many are putting their hopes of seeing that light in Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act. The hope in this Act is particularly strong among America’s teachers who are facing pink slips and lay offs all over the country.
The Arbiter Online states that the unemployment rate is at nine percent and job cuts this year have exceeded last year’s by more than 34,000. Even with these grim statistics, the job market seems to slowly but surely be picking up and though it is still high, compared to last month the unemployment rate has lowered. Though according to the article, “pink slips have become as common as paychecks.” What is a pink slip?
As the article reports, pink slips for teachers do not automatically mean that they will be laid-off. In most cases, it means that the district is evaluating what teachers they can afford to keep and which ones they can’t. If a teacher receives a pink slip they will probably continue to work to the end of the year or until the district can inform them if they will still have a job next year. The teachers who receive pink slips have to continue to work even if they are not sure they will have a job the next year. Furthermore, if they are laid off they face having to find another job in a field that is cutting many of its workers. That is why a lot of teachers are putting their hope on the passing of Obama’s Jobs Act.
Obama’s Jobs Act works to “stabilize teachers in their current jobs” and work to rehire the ones who have already lost their job, reports the Arbiter. A blog posting from The White House Blog stated that the “plan includes funding to support 400,000 teaching jobs, including protecting up to 280,000 teachers who are at risk of being laid off due to state and local budget cuts as well as rehiring tens of thousands of teachers who have lost their jobs in the last three years.” The blog post goes on to state that Obama plans to set aside 30 billion dollars to help teachers keep their jobs. It is their hope that this will work to prevent the possible layoffs of 280,000 teachers across the country. Teachers aren’t the only ones that would be helped by this Act. According to the article, the Act includes an effort to retain and hire more first responder jobs like firemen and police men. This inclusion adds another five billion dollars for a total of 35 billion dollars towards retaining and rehiring teachers and first responders.
With more job security, teachers can place more focus on teaching their students rather than the stress of not knowing if they will have a job next school year. Furthermore, the infrastructure plans that are included in the Jobs Act will likely add more jobs to the market while renovating school’s across the country. For teachers, the Jobs Act is the light at the end of the tunnel and it is their hope that they can reach it.