Menendez, State Officials Tout Proposed Federal Fund With More Than $600 Million To Keep NJ Teachers In The Classroom

Menendez, State Officials Tout Proposed Federal Fund With More Than $600 Million To Keep NJ Teachers In The Classroom

Legislation would create fund to shore up education jobs that could be in jeopardy due to tough economic times

South Hackensack - Today, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and New Jersey educators discussed legislation that would help ensure that thousands of teachers can remain in the classroom. The "Keep Our Educators Working Act" would create a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund to prevent teacher and education job losses - the fund would include more than $600 million for New Jersey teachers. The press conference was held at Memorial Elementary School in South Hackensack, a school that will see a significant reduction in its budget for the next school year. Senator Menendez was joined by South Hackensack Mayor James Anzevino and Dr. William DeFabiis, Memorial Elementary's Chief School Administrator.

"Although Recovery Act funding and other financial assistance for schools have softened the blow of the recent recession, our children's teachers are still in jeopardy," said Senator Menendez. "An education jobs fund would provide federal investments to retain local teachers and employees who help prepare our children with a quality education. Principals, teachers, librarians, and school personnel are important components of a child's development, and layoffs would only hurt our children's immediate future and the long-term future of our state. This bill takes a proactive approach to ensuring that our education system remains stable in the whirlwind created by millions of foreclosures that made parents relocate, and crippled family budgets due to unemployment."

The "Keep Our Educators Working Act", introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and co-sponsored by Senator Menendez, would bring $627,820,000 to New Jersey schools and $1,430,388,000 to New York for compensation, benefits, and other expenses necessary to retain existing employees, for the hiring of new employees to provide early childhood, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary educational and related services. It would also provide for on-the-job training activities for education-related careers.

Senator Menendez is a strong supporter of programs to guarantee a quality public education for all children. Recently Senator Menendez was recognized by Rutgers University students for supporting student loan reform legislation signed by the President, which will establish a Direct Loan program that will make college more affordable. That law also eliminates huge subsidies for big banks and private lenders and allowing for the reinvestment of those savings into education programs. It provides a boost in the maximum available Pell Grants by investing $36 billion over 10 years in the program. Students will have increased access to higher education making the nation more economically competitive.