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Federal mandates to blame for education layoffs

Where we stand

August 25, 2012
The Mining Journal

President Barack Obama made statements recently that have many scratching their heads.

During his weekly radio address last Saturday, Obama bemoaned layoffs of teachers in many states. Something has to be done about that, he stressed.

As many as 300,000 people have lost their jobs in education since the recession ended officially in 2009, according to a federal study. Obama cited it in an attempt to prod Congress to approve $25 billion to aid states in rehiring laid-off educators.

Of course, had the stimulus program done everything that it was expected to do, it would have revived the economy and reduced unemployment rates dramatically and state economies would be better able to manage public school spending. Fewer teachers would have been laid off.

But a wide variety of federal mandates have forced many states to cut back in other areas of spending. Had spending required by Washington not been a factor, some states probably could have devoted more to public schools.

Even if Congress approves the $25 billion, the program will end at some point - leaving schools in many states back where they started. The solution, of course, is to cut the federal burden on states as well as U.S. families and businesses.



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