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Education Funding

The Math Behind 135,000 Education Jobs Saved

By Michele McNeil — June 08, 2009 1 min read

The White House promised today that the economic stimulus package will create or save 600,000 jobs nationally over the next 100 days.

And 135,000 of those jobs are education jobs, the Obama administration claims. You can see a state-by-state breakdown in this White House PowerPoint presentation, on slide 5.

So how did the U.S. Department of Education come up with that 135,000-job estimate?

According to the Education Department, officials added together all of the Title I, IDEA and state fiscal stabilization fund money each state is going to get. Then, they multiplied that amount by 68.3 percent — or historically, according to the department, the percentage of state school funding that goes to school personnel. Then, they took the national-average teacher salary (plus benefits) of $69,000 to figure out how many jobs that translated into.

This seems like a very simplistic way of figuring out how many jobs the stimulus is saving or creating. But trying to answer that question also seems like an impossible task. What do you think of the math behind the numbers?

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