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Congress Introduces Legislation to Save School Counseling Jobs

by Danny Le | Jan 29, 2021
This legislation would save nearly 4 million education jobs, spur economic growth in the midst of an economic crisis and help mitigate the impacts of students’ learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) introduced the Save Education Jobs Act of 2021. This legislation would save nearly 4 million education jobs, spur economic growth in the midst of an economic crisis and help mitigate the impacts of students’ learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the bill would:

• Deliver up to $261 billion to states and school districts over 10 years. This relief would save up to 3.9 million education jobs, including 2.6 million teacher jobs as well as the jobs of school counselors, paraprofessionals, social workers, school psychologists, nurses, bus drivers, maintenance workers and more from budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Guarantee funding to all states for at least six years or until the national unemployment rate falls to 5.5 percent or below (if later). Thereafter, the legislation would provide additional funding up to fiscal year 2030 for individual states that continue to experience high unemployment. 

 • Allow state educational agencies to reserve up to 5 percent of funding to retain or create positions in early childhood, K-12 and higher education, and ensure that low-income students and students of color are not disproportionally taught by ineffective, out-of-field or inexperienced teachers.

• Require school districts to use at least 90 percent of funding to pay the salaries and benefits of teachers, school leaders and other school personnel. This funding can be used to recall or rehire former employees, retain existing employees and hire new employees in order to provide early childhood, elementary or secondary educational related services.

• Permit school districts to use up to 10 percent of funding to support teacher training and professional development, high-quality residency programs and better teacher pay for extended school time to address learning loss. 

• Ensure continued funding for K-12 education and high poverty districts with strong maintenance of effort and maintenance of equity requirements.  

“Despite the heroic work of our educators, we know that COVID-19 has undone months of academic gains, exacerbated existing disparities, increased student mental health needs, and left far too many students behind,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “The cuts we are already seeing throughout the country, and can expect to continue seeing in the future, are devastating for students and the future of public education. We need to invest in more supports, not less, to ensure that schools can meet these needs and challenges during and after the pandemic.”

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