Report: Teachers Gained Most From Stimulus Plan

CBS 2 Chicago
Oct 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) ― Public school teachers are expected to be the big winners when states around the U.S. reveal for the first time how many jobs were created or saved during the first months of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan.

State officials worked into the weekend as part of the most ambitious effort ever to calculate, in real time, the effect of a government spending program. From 11 jobs repaving a road in Caldwell, Texas, to one job helping run Utah food banks, to two forensic scientist positions in North Dakota, states were required to say exactly what became of billions in government aid.

The national data won’t be available until later this month. But based on preliminary information obtained by The Associated Press from a handful of states, teachers appear to have benefited most from early spending. That’s because the stimulus sent billions of dollars to help stabilize state budgets, sparing what officials said were tens of thousands of teacher layoffs.

In California, the stimulus was credited with saving or creating 62,000 jobs in public schools and state universities. Utah reported saving about 2,600 teaching jobs. In both states, education jobs represented about two-thirds of the total job number. Missouri reported more than 8,500 school jobs, Minnesota more than 5,900.

“They’re going to be the biggest driver of jobs from the state side,” said Chris Whatley, who tracks stimulus programs for the Council of State Governments.

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