May 26th, 2010
01:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama administration calls for emergency education spending

Arne Duncan is calling for emergency education spending.
Arne Duncan is calling for emergency education spending.

Washington (CNN) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan says President Obama "absolutely supports" a congressional proposal for $23 billion in emergency education spending in order to stave off teacher layoffs and cancellation of summer classes.

Duncan told CNN Wednesday that the emergency spending request is needed to head off "an education catastrophe, " in which as many as 300-thousand teachers across the country could be laid off.

Duncan also said that without the extra spending, some school districts will be forced to eliminate summer school and after-school programs.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-California, are behind the bid in the Senate and House to approve the extra spending.

Duncan has asked Congress to add the money to an emergency spending measure, being considered this week, that would fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The top Republican on the House Education committee, Rep. Jon Kline, R-Minnesota, opposes the request, charging that it would worsen the nation's long-term fiscal stability by adding another $23 billion to the federal deficit.

Because of concerns over the growing federal budget deficit, congressional supporters of the measure have questioned President Obama's commitment. But Duncan declared that President Obama is "a hundred percent supportive" of the emergency spending.

Duncan said he believes most taxpayers would support the added federal spending because "this is an emergency...no one wants to see class size go from 25 to 40, no one wants to see summer school eliminated particularly for disadvantaged kids."

Duncan urged Congress to quickly provide the extra spending: "This is not something Congress can debate for four or five months. We need to act and we need to act now. "


Filed under: Arne Duncan • Education
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Sgt. USMC

    Look out repubs, here goes more of that spending you guys hate... you know, the kind that helps people and is not meant to invade other countries... that kind of spending.

    May 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. stevegee

    Everything is an "emergency" with the Obama administration. That's the only way they can keep pushing their socialist agenda. Wake up people, and educate yourselves as to what's going on!

    In November 2010, vote American, vote Republican!

    May 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. rob

    Another payoff for the Teachers Unions and big Dem states like California. They always cry for the "Children". Watch for the charges towards Republicans who oppose this as "Hurting the Kids" when this is all about saving the bloated teachers unions and Bureaucracy of boards of Ed.

    This is not Greece, Teachers Unions are not entitled to BAILOUTS. We are all hurting out here, the Stimulus did nothing to help the private sector, 9.9% unemployment, it was directed to state and Muni workers and Unions to stave off the enevitable State meltdowns we are seeing across the country.

    We need to stop the madness. We need to throw out these Pols in Nov. before its too late.

    May 26, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Ben S. Pauls

    Another Obama-contrived "emergencies". There's no emergency there; just poor teachers and badly disciplined children.

    May 26, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Angus McDugan

    Put the work "emergency" in there and you can write bad checks all day. Right Mr. Obama?

    May 26, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Will in Carson City

    We don't need to put another $23B into the pot. Maybe the layoffs are exactly what we need to get rid of some of the crap that is festering in the teacher pool. Sure, some good teachers are going to be part of it. But if it allows schools to get rid of the really bad teachers, then let it happen.

    May 26, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Jim

    Obama: "Quick, we need a union bailout. the NEA is breathing down my neck to give them a sweetheart deal. We can sell it as "saving our children's future" AND make sure the unions continue to vote for us. It's a win-win, Chicago-style. Rahm, make it so."

    May 26, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Two-Face

    I don't know what's more of a problem. Throiwing more money into a system that is as complicated as the school system, or do what's best for our children and hopefully they won't stay in Summer school and enjoy the summer? You tell me what the majority of kids and High School students wanna do.

    While I'm an advent supporter of enhancing education and somehow reform the system, it is about performance. I'm sure principals of every state or district doesn't want to come down to this. I'm sure they don't wanna waste time and efforts on what will fail but it is pointless. Our education system is broken, just like any other ones as well. More work and solutions needs to be done in order to make sure how to prevent another catastrophe, which arguably has been going on for a very long time now.

    Some kids and students do stay for after school programs but I think every state needs to come with their own tax reform codes for to raise revenue, instead of big government giving it to you. If property taxes are used for many resources, there's no excuse that a less convenient and smarter way of earning back revenue can be in the works. Is possible, not impossible. The more money people have in their pockets, the more options they will have for their communities, schools, hospitals, etc. In other words, LOWER TAXES!!!

    May 26, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Johnny DC

    This multi-billion dollar bailout of a broken system will amount to throwing rocks at a tank. This is a political stunt aimed at gaining public support around a topic that everyone likes on the surface.

    And, as usual, the Dems in Congress will attach this porkish piece of legislation to the military spending bill, so they can claim publicly that the GOP hates our troops as well as our poor teachers.

    This bill is bad business, plain and simple. A few weeks from now, the system will be broke again and require additional mini bailouts.

    May 26, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Jasmine

    If it's one thing that deserves extra spending, it's education. Let me guess.....right-wing idiots will find some dumb excuse that the Obama is overspending despite the fact it's invested into the lives of the children and grandchilden of their "great" family values.

    May 26, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. valwayne

    The Democrats are going to add domestic education spending to emergency war spending? How many trillions will they add to these bill before they are done? Do the Democrat have any concept that the nation can't keep plunging into trillions and trillions and trillions in debt?

    May 26, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. OC Educator

    This would be a much needed shot in the arm for education, which has been slammed with budget cuts for the past 3 years. Teachers and staff in our district have been laid off and the rest are taking furlough days (reduced pay) just to meet the minimum demands.
    I wonder if Rep. Jon Kline has children in school. Does he not worry about our kids getting a proper education?
    I'll bet if he does have kids they are probably in private school.
    This "Party of NO" business is getting old. Can we put aside the partisan bickering and focus on our children's future?

    May 26, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Dano

    I think Pink Floyd said it best: We don't need no education. Once we deport all the illegal immigrants there will be plenty of jobs for our uneducated children!

    May 26, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. CONCERNED

    Hope AZ doesn't use this as a way to pass a bill to ELININATE HISPANIC TEACHER WHO HAVE AN ACCENT, recently reported the Gov. and school officials are wanting to remove those teachers who are here legally but imigrated to the US and teach. The Gov is concerned their accent interrupts the fact that so many children need to learn proper english. Well tell you what go to the East Coast and the Americans have accents, NY accent, Bostona accent. Give it a rest AZ.

    May 26, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Amy

    Yes, please do it! I'm teacher of the year for our entire district, and I just got laid off. We're in bad shape.

    May 26, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    This should tick off the GOPers nicely. "Edumacation? Who needs edumacation when your church and the leaders of the party pappy belonged to make it so easy by telling you what to think?"

    They should also tack on an extra $1B or so to establish national education standards based on what experts in the education field say, rather than partisan political hackery, in order to counteract the BS that TX is trying to get away with. These are the same scumbags that accused Obama of trying to indoctrinate the kids? How obvious do the GOP and conservatives have to make it before people speak the hell up and do something about what TX is trying to pull...do we need to start telling our states to boycot Rand McNally or whoever it is that prints based on TX standards? I mean, could it be any clearer that they looked at the polls from November 2008 and said "oh crap, we need to start indoctrinating the kids earlier with more conservative-leaning ideology."??

    May 26, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Pam

    What part of "we are broke" don't people understand. There is no more money for emergency anything.
    We will never get out of the financial hell we are in without some painful cuts.
    Congress can not provide extra spending when there is no more money.
    Anyone who doubts that the government will have to come up with more "emergency spending" to clean up the BP mess is not thinking clearly.

    May 26, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Enough

    Emergency spending............isn't all of Obamas spending declared an emergency? enough, we can't spend money we don't have......period, end of story, the checkbook is empty and the credit card maxed out.

    May 26, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    The obstructions will probably vote NO.

    They want to keep people uneducated so that the can use them as "slaves" at minimum wage or less.

    They think ONLY children of wealthy GOP should get an education.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE - IT'S AS BAD AS SLAVES 100 YEARS AGO.

    But then, SC, AL, GA, MS (KKK states) ARE the ones that are so ignorant f what this country needs to be able to survive long-term.

    May 26, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Ken

    Is this truely how bad our country has gotten that we have enough money to spend to send troops over seas to places that in the first place we shouldn't be. But we don't have enough money to educate our youth.... something is wrong with that picture to me. Our kids are our future without them we will be nothing.

    May 26, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. phil

    Everything is an emergency with this administration its another way to scare people into thinking they are really doing something other than giving the teacher unions more reasons to continue their scams

    May 26, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    What a complete shocker! Count Baracula wants to spend MORE money on unions? It's almost incomprehensible......oh, and pigs fly! Baracula has, from day one, had his fangs sunk deep into the juggular of the private sector, "fundamentally changing" industries with his toxic govn't bite. He hates profit and free market and has ONLY chosen to deliver blood($) to government employees and unions, meanwhile private sector industry and employees have been hammered so much that it has permanently altered the job market; there's now a stratified layer of people that have out of jobs for 1, 2, going on 3yrs, etc. Where's their bailout? Think they'll be able to even get a job with that HOLE on their resume, LET ALONE make even half of what they once made. And then you have the unions, teachers, and govn't emps getting Billions for "after school programs and summer school". I have close friends in the education field and dept of ed; most people wouldn't even believe the stories of waste and abuse if they were told about it. Let alone the incompetence. Have you seen how are students perform lately? Pathetic social welfare/entitlement ideology crippling the US and permanently weakening our world standing. Competition is a swear word to BARACUALA AND LIBS!

    May 26, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. pa mom

    Where's this money coming from? Maybe if the teacher unions weren't so greedy and lived in the real work world, we wouldn't be facing this problem. Is it a wonder? Break the unions. There time is past.

    May 26, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Jim

    Just keep adding and adding, we will be just like Greece. When will it stop, so they have 40 to a class. My class had 54. Come on charter schools. In good times 22 to a class great. These are not good times. Teachers work 166 days a year with 5 hours a day of eyeball to eyeball contact with students. Pretty good working conditions for the $.

    May 26, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. anthony

    How can you POSSIBLY complain about THIS article????
    He could cure youre mother's cancer and you'd complain.

    But put Obama's name in a headline and cue the negative comments in 3,2,1...

    May 26, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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