Forget about school reform: Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, wants to use $800 million in reform funds to pay educators’ salaries. His proposed amendment would shift $500 million from Race to the Top to partially — very partially — offset the cost of a $10 billion education jobs bill. Another $200 million would come from the Teacher Incentive Fund, which helps districts create pay-for-performance programs, reports Education Week. The final $100 million would come from innovation funds, apparently hitting charter schools.
“Mr. Obey has said, “When a ship is sinking, you don’t worry about redesigning a room, you worry about keeping it afloat,” (Obey spokesman Ellis) Brachman said. “He is not opposed to education reform. But he believes that keeping teachers on the job is an important step.”
“Maybe the ship is sinking because it’s overloaded,” writes EIA Intercepts.
Obey is bucking the administration to maintain the status quo, writes Flypaper.
Dropout Nation jumps in.
Arne Duncan should give a little to keep teachers working, writes John Thompson on This Week in Education.
If the purpose of reform is to help schools, why push full speed ahead, as the educators who should be implementing these innovations are cut? Teachers have repeatedly seen the fiascoes that occur as schools buy hot new initiatives, but without funding the people necessary to do the work.
Nobody really knows how many education jobs are in danger.
Update: Why give more money to “a system that blindly allows effective teachers to be laid off but keeps those who do poor work but have been on the job longer? asks a Washington Post editorial.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it includes Obey’s amendment.