On a day when the DOW dropped below 10,000 and an announcement of the economy producing only 21,000 private sector jobs, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and two top southern Democrats warned that without federal funds, thousands of teachers would be laid off in the coming weeks.
The jobs of 10,000 North Carolina teachers are at risk among 300,000 nationwide*, Duncan said, as recession-hit state and local governments struggle to meet requirements to balance their budgets.
"We are strongly urging Congress to take action and take action this month," Duncan said. "I don't have a Plan B. Plan B is children around the country are going to get hurt."Duncan (D-NC) and Etheridge (D-NC) said Thursday that a $23 billion education jobs fund proposed in Congress was needed to keep teachers in the classroom and off the unemployment rolls at a time the economy remains fragile.
With billions more in federal education dollars at stake, Perdue and others lobbied Duncan to note the state's efforts to claim a share of the U.S. Education Department's "Race to the Top" grants.
* Hoboken, which is facing the retirement of over 10% of it's teaching faculty is not in danger of layoffs in the Fall due to budget shortfalls.