Education Funding

Obama’s Teacher Poster-Child Laid Off—Twice

By Liana Loewus — October 15, 2010 1 min read

Even a photo op with the president couldn’t save one Ohio kindergarten teacher’s job.

Amanda VanNess, a 25-year-old teacher in the Toledo Public Schools, initially lost her job in July as her district was facing budget cuts, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A month later, she received an invitation from the White House to stand behind President Obama in the Oval Office as he signed a bill that put $26 billion toward saving teachers’ jobs.

“The idea was, with this bill passing, it was going to give teachers a better chance of being called back,” VanNess told the Journal.

Toledo Public Schools received $7.6 million of the federal funds. Just before school started, the district offered VanNess a job teaching 2nd grade.

But with student enrollment down 5.4% from last fall, the school district recently gave out another round of pink slips—and VanNess was not spared.

The Toledo Blade reported that VanNess’ district “hasn’t spent a dollar of the $7.6 million in teacher rehire money it received from the Aug. 10 bill, opting instead to save it for next school year to rehire or retain a myriad [of] school employees—probably not teachers.”

VanNess told the Journal she’s hoping to “wait this out” and “get back into the classroom.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.