Friday, August 20, 2010

GAE urges Gov. Perdue to apply for and use Ed Jobs Fund monies now

"I ask that you help alleviate the anguish and frustration taking place - right now - throughout our schools and communities by accepting U. S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's invitation," said Calvine Rollins, president of the 43,000-member Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). This was an excerpt from a letter she recently penned to Gov. Sonny Perdue urging him to meet the September 9, 2010 deadline for states to apply for their share of the recent $10 billion approved for states under the Education Jobs Fund Program. Georgia's share comes to roughly $322 million.

Rollins stresses that not only is it important that we ask for the money, but that it is utilized during the 2010-11 school year as much as possible. She said, "Our schools and children are feeling the pain of budget cuts right now and wherever these monies can be utilized for relief it would be inexcusable not to do so." She points to using the funds to help bring back some of the dedicated and quality teachers and support professionals who were victims of recent cuts, help eliminate the need for furloughs, help bring relief to recent class size increases in order to make our children's learning environments less stressful, and to possibly help restore valued programs or classes that districts were forced to cut.

"Even if these restorations are only for this year, these are experiences our children would not have lost," said Rollins. "And we do not have a crystal ball to predict what's in store for next school year. We do know what we have available to us right now!"

Rollins notes that Georgia should anticipate receiving the funds within two weeks of receivng Gov. Perdue's application according to the program's guidelines. From there she says the state is to make awards to local districts on a timely basis so they can be used during this school year via either the state's funding formula or Part A of Title I of ESEA.

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