I don’t have time to rehash why Congress’ education jobs bailout bill doesn’t make any sense. I just don’t have time. The beach beckons. You know, summer vacation and all that. What once was a $23 billion bailout is now only a $10 billion bailout. (Phew! For awhile I thought we were talking about real money there.) After lingering on Capitol Hill for months, the decision to spend more money the federal government doesn’t have faces smooth sailing now that 61 Senators agreed to close the debate.
Some of the same people who insist teachers across the board are underpaid also hope you can’t do the math. As the Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke points out, the touted number of teacher jobs to be saved (100,000) means the cost for each job is approximately $100,000. Are teachers getting paid really well? Or is the rest of the money paying bureaucrats or buying political favors? I may be young, but I’m not naive enough to expect any serious answers.
Of course, Mike Antonucci also has done the research and reporting to show that the estimates of layoff numbers are overblown as many teachers across the country are being rehired. Does this mean that a “crisis” has been manufactured to help push our nation — and particularly, me and my generation — deeper in debt? You said it. Not I.
It looks like the Obama administration — which is a champion of the edujobs bailout — no longer needs to be burdened by perceptions that they have bucked too hard against the National Education Association (NEA) and other established interests. Rick Hess aptly observes that the President and Arne Duncan have been showcasing the belief “it’s better to spend and then start wishing really hard than to make the tough choices.”
In this case, they and a couple Republican Senators from Maine bowed down to the NEA’s lobbying campaign that will end up ensuring millions more in dues revenue while kids like me get nothing more than being stuck with the bill for money borrowed plus interest.