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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Education Jobs Fund Proposals in the 111th Congress

Rebecca R. Skinner
Specialist in Education Policy

Steven Maguire
Specialist in Public Finance

During the 111th Congress, both the House and Senate have considered various pieces of legislation that would provide funds to prevent teacher layoffs. These proposals have generally been referred to as proposals to create an Education Jobs Fund. The first Education Jobs Fund was included by the House in H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act. It was not retained in the final bill. More recently, the Education Jobs Fund was included in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 4899) by the House, but the domestic spending provisions added by the House through amendment were not agreed to by the Senate. Ultimately, the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations bill did not include funding for an Education Jobs Fund. 

On July 29, 2010, Senator Reid proposed an amendment (S.Amdt. 4567), on behalf of Senator Murray, to add the Education Jobs Fund and a state Medicaid package as a substitute amendment to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 1586). The substitute amendment was scheduled for a cloture vote on August 2, 2010. The vote was tabled after the Congressional Budget Office determined that the amendment would increase the deficit over both the five-year and 10-year budget intervals. Subsequently, Senator Reid filed a cloture motion on August 2, 2010, to consider S.Amdt. 4575 as a substitute amendment to H.R. 1586. The cloture motion passed by a vote of 61-38 on August 4, 2010. The Senate also voted 61-38 to waive a budgetary point of order brought against the amendment by Senator Gregg. On August 5, 2010, the Senate passed S.Amdt. 4575 by a vote of 61-38. The House agreed to H.R. 1586, as amended by S.Amdt. 4575, on August 10, 2010. H.R. 1586 was signed into law by the President later that day (P.L. 111-226). 

Under H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs Fund will be administered generally under the terms and conditions that applied to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA; P.L. 111-5, Sections 14001 through 14013). For example, funds will be distributed to states using the same formula used to distribute funds under the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. States are required to distribute funds to local educational agencies (LEAs). Under H.R. 1586, LEAs can only use funds for compensation and benefits and other expenses (e.g., support services) necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees in order to provide early childhood, elementary, and secondary educational and related services. 

This report includes a summary of key provisions contained in H.R. 1586 related to the Education Jobs Fund. Estimated state grants based on the amendment's provisions are also included. It also discusses two issues related to the proposed amendment with respect to the timing of the funds and reporting requirements regarding the use of the funds. The report concludes with a brief discussion of the legislative history of Education Jobs Fund proposals during the 111th Congress.

Date of Report: August 20, 2010
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: R41353
Price: $29.95

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