A second round of stimulus money could be on the way from the federal government, this batch specifically targeting schools and the jobs they provide.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Senate Appropriations panel that funds education initiatives, has introduced the Keep Our Educators Working Act.
The bill would provide a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund to help keep teachers, principals, librarians and other school personnel on the job next year.
Cosponsors of the measure so far include Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D- NJ and others from fiscally-strapped states.
The act would create an Education Jobs Fund modeled after the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund or SFSF that was established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act .
Former N.J. governor Jon S. Corzine used $1 billion of that stimulus money toward school aid this year, but now it's gone, leaving Gov. Chris Christie with a big hole in state education aid that is rapidbly being filled with pink slips for school employees.
The current stimulus is supporting more than 300,000 education jobs nationwide, but the funding cliff Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned about last year is rapidly approaching.
The $23 billion included in the Keep Our Educators Working Act is roughly half of the amount dedicated to state aid in the SFSF.