Friday October 9th, 2015 2:49AM

Weekly address: Obama renews call for aid to halt teacher layoffs

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) Tight school budgets have meant fewer teachers, larger classes and shorter school years, according to a White House report that President Barack Obama says shows the need for Congress to pass his proposals to help states reduce teacher layoffs.

The study concluded that 300,000 education jobs have been lost since the official end of the recession in 2009 and that student-to-teacher ratios have increased by 4.6 percent from 2008 to 2010 and are on track to grow more.

"If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.

For Obama, the report offered a fresh chance to push a nearly year-old jobs plan he proposed that provided money for states to keep teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job. The proposal included payroll tax cuts and jobless insurance provisions that Congress has passed. But other proposals in the plan have run aground amid mostly Republican opposition.

Obama is pressing Congress to act, part of an election-year strategy to portray Republicans as obstructionists. Republicans have proposed their own measures, but they have not advanced in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The partisanship has created a stalemate that Obama has tried to exploit during his re-election campaign.

While the private sector has continued to create jobs, though at a sluggish pace, the public sector has been posting monthly job losses, contributing to an 8.3 percent unemployment rate.

Obama's plan includes $25 billion in aid to prevent layoffs of teacher and pay for other education jobs. That is part of a broader effort to retain state and local government jobs.

The White House report was not a product of the Education Department. It was prepared by the president's Council of Economic Advisers, his Domestic Policy Council and his National Economic Council.

According to the report, average student-to-teacher ratios reached a low of 15.3 in 2008 but climbed to 16 students per teacher in 2010, equal to levels in 2000. The report acknowledges that typical class sizes are actually larger than those ratios because the measures include teachers for students with disabilities and other special teachers who are excluded from class size counts. It said that in many districts, class size is much higher because of steeper cuts in education budgets.

The report says that since the fall of 2010, local governments have cut about 150,000 more education jobs.

In the address, Obama said a House Republican budget would make conditions worse because it would cut further into education spending to help pay for new tax cuts for the wealthy.

"That's backwards," he said. "That's wrong. That plan doesn't invest in our future; it undercuts our future."

That's an argument Obama has been making on the campaign trail against Republican rival Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, the author of the House budget.

In the Republican address, Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri criticized Democrats and the president for Congress' failure to restore disaster programs for farmers suffering from the worst drought in 25 years.

"A lot was riding on this bill, but the Senate, a body controlled by the president's party, left Washington for the month of August without even bringing it to a vote," she said. "The president has seen fit to politicize this issue, but the fact is he didn't urge the Senate to act."

The legislation was all the Republican-controlled House could pass amid Republican divisions over farm subsidies and food stamps in a broader food and farm policy bill. The Senate would not act on the pared-down bill, insisting that Congress consider a full five-year extension of the farm legislation with 80 percent of it, or about $400 billion, devoted to food stamps.

© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
UN is next stop for Obama after success with Iran, pope; top issues are IS, Syria, Russia
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from successes on Iran and with the pope, President Barack Obama still carried heavy burdens into critical meetings this week at the U.N. General Assembly.They include the threat...
3:31PM ( 1 week ago )
Stunning Congress, House Speaker Boehner announces plans to resign; tea party declares victory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging Congress into deeper turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation Friday, shutting down a tea party drive to depose the nation's highest-ranking Re...
6:14PM ( 1 week ago )
Tornado heavily damages 10 homes but causes no injuries on island in South Carolina
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A tornado quickly blew through a neighborhood on the South Carolina coast early Friday and blew out windows, knocked down trees and heavily damaged ten homes.The tornado touc...
5:08PM ( 1 week ago )
Caterpillar says it may cut more than 10,000 jobs by 2018, lowers 2015 revenue expectation
Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets.That could amount to...
10:06AM ( 1 week ago )
Escaped tarantula grounds Atlanta-bound flight in Baltimore
An eight-legged creature that escaped in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International grounded the plane and sent passengers onto another flight.
By The Associated Press
9:06AM ( 1 week ago )