The editorial points to some issues underlying the debate over the edujobs bill, including that it a) isn’t offset if it becomes part of the emergency spending bill financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and b) doesn’t include any sort of provision urging districts to rethink seniority-based layoffs.
Here’s a snippet from the editorial:
The congressional measure fails to use dollars in a way that would have the most impact. The money would be spread around according to blanket formulas, not sent to poorer jurisdictions. It would not be linked to the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition, which rewards states that show seriousness about improving public schools. A coalition of reform organizations, including the Education Trust and the New Teacher Project, has joined with the Children's Defense Fund to argue that new federal money should be linked to reforms allowing teacher quality to be considered in layoff decisions. We might have had a different view of this measure if its sponsors had figured out a way, as they promised with their adoption of pay-go guidelines, to pay for it rather than simply add to the nation's fast-growing national debt.
Rep. John Kline, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, put out a statement saying that basically between this and the paper’s support of the DC voucher program, he’s ready to buy the (supposedly left-leaning) editorial board a beer.
Well, not really. Here’s what he actually said:
The most important thing we can do to protect our children is to stop the reckless spending that has already mortgaged their future. The federal government cannot afford another $23 billion modeled on the failed economic stimulus, and our states cannot afford to become wards of the federal government.