White House Touts Job Creation in Education Field
The White House on Monday turned to the politically potent issue of education to promote its implementation of the stimulus bill, announcing that 250,000 of the 1 million jobs that it says have been “saved or created— by the legislation so far were education jobs.“Preliminary reviews of recipient reporting data from state governments on educational spending through … the Recovery Act show that at least 250,000 educational jobs have been saved or created thus far,— said Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden. Biden has been steering the administration’s effort to promote the legislation, which Democrats and President Barack Obama backed and Republicans uniformly opposed. Education consistently ranks near the top of responses in polling that asks people which issues concern them the most. The education jobs are among what the White House says are 1 million total jobs saved or created as of Sept. 30 and based on $150 billion spent out of the $787 billion allotted under the act. “This is a subset of the 1 million jobs saved or created thus far through the act, leaving us solidly on track to accomplish our stated goal of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs by later next year,— said Bernstein, who, along with White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, briefed reporters at the White House. Republican leaders say the stimulus has fallen short of White House projections. “Nobody has seen the actual report,— said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “But what we do know is more than 250,000 jobs were lost last month alone [and] 3 million have been lost just since the stimulus was signed,— Stewart said. “And we know that the administration claimed that if Congress passed another trillion dollars in deficit spending for the stimulus bill, unemployment would not exceed 8 percent — it’s now almost 10 percent, and the deficit is getting bigger every day.—Bernstein acknowledged that the results are preliminary and that a portion of the jobs saved or created were temporary summer employment. Barnes suggested that many of the jobs fell into the “saved— category, with funding provided by the federal government to localities used to forestall planned layoffs.