Early Learning in the American Jobs Act

Sep 15, 2011

By Hannah Matthews

President Obama's proposal to invest in people through the American Jobs Act is an important step forward for a country and economy in desperate need of jobs. The Act recognizes that we need broad programs to create work opportunities and promote hiring by investing in infrastructure and stimulating consumer spending as well as programs targeted toward the most vulnerable workers.

At the center of the President's proposal is an effort to invest in education by supporting educators' employment, including re-hiring of teachers who have been laid off due to state budget cuts. Once again, the Administration has demonstrated their commitment to supporting a "cradle to career" education system, beginning at birth, by allowing states to use funding for compensation and benefits to retain or rehire early childhood educators in state-funded early childhood programs serving children from birth to kindergarten entry. Local education agency funds may also be used for the modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities used for early childhood programs.

CLASP will be actively supporting this legislation as it moves forward in Congress-and while we look forward to working with Members to broaden the definition of early childhood programs beyond those that receive state funding, it is commendable to see early childhood education getting the consideration it deserves as both a critical component of the country's education system and the nation's economy.

Read more about the important employment strategy provisions in the American Jobs Act.

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