Putting Education Reform To The Test

Biden Tells Pasco Stories to Sell Jobs Plan

Win McNamee / Getty News Images

Vice President Joe Biden argued Congress should approve a jobs bill that includes $35 billion to add or maintain education jobs.

Pitching the effects on Pasco County elementary students, Vice President Joe Biden made a case for President Barack Obama’s jobs bill Tuesday.

Biden pulled plenty of local anecdotes for his stop at Oakstead Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes: The $54 million shortfall the district faced this year; the 513 jobs cut; the eight Oakstead teachers no longer working at the school.

Obama’s jobs bill, Biden said, would mean $35 billion across the country to add or preserve 400,000 education jobs.

The bill would mean 26,000 education jobs in Florida. Pasco County would get $40 million in emergency funding the county could use towards an expected $26 million deficit next year.

“No one can tell whether or not these shortfalls put these beautiful kids a month behind in their overall education?” Biden asked. “Six months? A year? Or two years? But the truth is it does slow down…their capacity to learn.”

Biden noted that private sector employment has grown by 1.7 million in the past year, but 200,000 fewer teachers are working.

“We can’t tell exactly what that means,” he said, “but we know there’s nothing good that comes from that.”

President Barack Obama made a similar argument at a speech in Texas.


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