State and local governments laid off nearly 58,000 teachers and other education workers in September, the government announced on Friday.This is symptomatic of the wrong direction our sorry-ass political system is moving in. The greatest danger to our national security comes from our broken economy: we need more trained and better educated workers. Working! And we are firing teachers?
Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the progressive Economic Policy Institute, says,
What the payroll numbers show is unambiguous: teachers were cut. A lot of them. States should have gotten more fiscal relief to keep this from happening. The job loss was 58,000 jobs in state and local education in September. These are teachers and other education workers who would have been expected to come back after the summer -- or start new jobs -- with the new school year.We need to balance the budget? Reduce the deficit? Then fire the troops. Demobilize them and bring them home. One US soldier in Afghanistan costs $1 million per year. Killing each Taliban soldier costs $50 Million. We can't afford that now.
Convert them to teachers. Troops to Teachers is 16-year-old program which needs to enlarge its talent pool in order to attract the waves of younger troops returning from hot spots such as Iraq and Afghanistan and making the not-always-easy transition to civilian life.
TTT is funded by the Department of Education to the tune of about $14.4 million a year and run by a Defense Department outfit called Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support. Essentially a referral and placement service, TTT provides up to $10,000 for military personnel to obtain their teaching certification; they must be retired or have left their service with at least six years of active duty. Many of the more than 11,000 men and women who have participated in the program are nontraditional first-time teachers, middle-aged former officers, sailors, soldiers and Marines who hope to parlay their skills into a very different kind of service career.Bring our troops home - alive - and train them to serve in our country's national interests.