UPDATE: The wait for the first stimulus reports is over. Recovery.gov now has an updated interactive map, plenty of statistics and charts, and spreadsheets available for download. You could spend hours clicking on the dots on the interactive maps, trying to make sense of it all--and if you do see anything noteworthy, please leave a comment. I’ll be digging through this data for a story next week, so check back here for updates. In the meantime, catch up on what VP Joe Biden had to say about the stimulus package in my earlier post below.
While we’re waiting for the first quarterly stimulus spending reports to be posted online later today, we’ll have to take Vice President Joe Biden’s word for how successful the program’s been.
In a press conference today, Biden said 640,239 jobs have been created or saved as a direct result of the economic-stimulus package. Of those, 325,000 were jobs in education. The spending reports, which are supposed to be online sometime between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., will detail not just information about jobs saved, but also how states spent the first dollars of the stimulus package.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who appeared with Biden, said California has used the $7.1 billion in education stimulus funds it’s received so far to save 62,000 education-related jobs. That’s more than half of the 100,000 jobs in all sectors that the stimulus package has saved in California, according to the governor. (In total, the state has gotten $12.5 billion of its $50 billion in stimulus money so far.)
“Those teachers would have been gone if it hadn’t been for the stimulus money,” the Republican governor said.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s numbers weren’t nearly as impressive (given how small Maryland is compared to California.) The Democratic governor, who also appeared with Biden, said the stimulus has saved 14,000 jobs so far in that state. He didn’t spell out how many of those were education jobs.
UPDATE: Also worth noting is that union leaders--including the AFT’s Randi Weingarten and the NEA’s Dennis Van Roekel--were in attendance. In fact, NEA member Richard Bigelow, a teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Orlando, Fla., got a starring role in the video the White House showed before the press conference began. You can watch the video, which is, predictably, a rah-rah stimulus montage: