Report: The Stimulus Successfully Saved Teaching Jobs

To hear conservatives tell it, the 2009 Recovery Act (known as the stimulus) was a failure. However, that is not the view of independent analysts, who credit the stimulus with saving or creating millions of jobs.

According to a new report from the Center on Education Policy, the stimulus was successful at saving education jobs as well, preventing layoffs in at least 31 states:

ARRA grants helped to stabilize school districts’ budgets at a time of shortfalls in state and local funding. In roughly 52% of school districts with funding decreases for 2009–10, State Fiscal Stabilization Fund grants compensated for a majority of the decrease; in another 45% of these districts, SFSF money compensated for at least a portion of the decrease.

ARRA saved educators’ jobs and reduced funding shortfalls in K-12 education. In 2010, approximately 69% of districts reported that they used SFSF funds to save or create jobs for teachers and other school personnel. In 2011, 31 of 35 states surveyed reported that ARRA and Education Jobs funds saved teaching jobs, and 27 reported that these funds saved other district and school-level jobs. In addition, the majority of districts receiving ARRA supplemental funds for the Title I and IDEA programs reported using at least some of those funds to save or create jobs.

Of course, this hasn’t stopped the economy from bleeding education jobs anyway. Last year alone, local governments cut 130,000 teaching jobs. In the last three years, government have shed more than 300,000 teaching jobs, as this chart shows:

And, as recent research confirmed, public sector job cuts ripple through the economy, taking private sector jobs along with them.