American Jobs Act could bring nearly $6 billion in needed school funds to California

SACRAMENTO—California could receive $3.1 billion to prevent the layoffs of an estimated 30,000 education jobs under President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act proposal, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said this week.

“The place for our teachers is in the classroom—not the unemployment line,” Torlakson said. “The American Jobs Act represents an opportunity to begin to address the financial emergency facing California’s schools, and to put people to work rebuilding and modernizing our aging school buildings. That’s a smart investment in the future of our state.”

Funds to prevent and reverse teacher layoffs would come from California’s estimated $3.1 billion share of $35 billion President Obama has proposed to aid states and cities.

Torlakson was pleased with the President’s plan to set aside money to renovate K-12 public school facilities and build or update science and computer labs neglected because of deep cuts to education funding in recent years.

California’s share of the $25 billion in infrastructure repair, renovation, and modernization funding could be more than $2.8 billion and could support as many as 36,600 construction jobs.

In the wake of more than $18 billion in state budget cuts over the last three years, Torlakson declared a state of financial emergency for California’s schools just days after he took office in January.