Borrowing from Their Future: Senator Harkin’s $23 Billion Emergency Education Bill

Sarah Torre /

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced during a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing last Wednesday that he will sponsor a $23 billion emergency jobs bill in response to the country’s education employment situation.

During the hearing Education Secretary Arne Duncan described the education job situation as “brutal” and Ramon C. Cortines, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, warned of decreased academic achievement as communities “continue to hemorrhage teachers and other essential employees.”

Although state and federal education leaders worry about any decreases in employment, increases in education labor over the past few decades cast doubt on the claims that labor market fluctuations will result in a poor quality of education for American students. As the Empire Center recently reported, New York State saw an increase in education jobs over the past decade although student enrollment declined during the same period. Commenting on claims that budget cuts will cost 14,000 state education jobs, the Empire Center reported: (more…)