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General: Pres. Obama proposed the American Jobs Act to strengthen our economy and create jobs. How would you like to see the money and resources put to work in your community?

Comments: 199

I want to see the schools financed to cover the needed programs for students. As a teacher last year I spent over a thousand dollars out of pocket for my classroom. I took 18 hours of post grad credit to increase my level and income and am being told I won't get the raise I worked so hard to get.I can no longer afford to pay for things for the room. Yet at every turn there is no money for text books, no money for field trips, no money for supplies. We have got to fund education to allow the students to have what they need to learn the material we are required to teach.

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Pat Ferryman
AFT ABQ
Rio Rancho, NM

I would love to see an over all increase in wages for Clasified School Employess. Clasified Employees are being required to be "highly qualified", just like certified teachers, but are not being paid to obtain the extra skills and knowledge to perform the duties required of them. Classified Employees work for less benefits and get few hours, often less than a half time employee to avoid being eligible for any benefits at all. A college education makes becoming highly qualified the true means to being highly qualified. If we don't pay these people to do the jobs they are expected to perform we will lose them and not have quality educators.

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Gale Barlow
Oregon School Employees Association
Grants Pass, OR

As a university professor I believe in higher education. However the bulk of the money in the presidents new proposal should go to vocational and technological education. We need to address the educational needs of those people who have no interest or desire in an academic education. You need to train people to do jobs that require them to use there hands and jobs that require skills. If you want to put the majority of people back to work you need to prepare them with vocational and technological training that does not require a degree or many years of schooling to obtain. Think work skills not acedemic skills.

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Fatum William
Browns Mills, NJ

My community requires updated infrastructure, help in being part of the "New Economy" through intensive retraining for displaced workers. Rebuilding/rehabbing older housing/commercial stock or return the land for gardens and parks. Most importantly I would like to see bold and imaginative solar, wind, and other alternative power projects which literally "light up" the community. Fund public education without the influence of corporations and foundations. We need to think both small and large scale to create a momentum for "what is possible" rather than being stuck in "what we have lost."

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Alan Mintz
Mintz Alan
Cleveland, OH

I would like to see the money and resources used to renovate school buildings and repair roads and bridges in my community. I also believe that supporting small businesses with payroll tax breaks for new employees will create jobs and continuing to provide tax breaks for the middle class will stimulate the economy. Tax breaks for the wealthy should be eliminated! They must pay their fair share.

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Susan Jernigan
AFT Local 434
Glen Carbon, IL

I am a high school science teacher with the Chicago Public Schools. I teach 150 students from the Belmont-Cragin community in Chicago. Many of my students qualify for a subsidized lunch. Our school, which is over 80 years old, was originally designed as an elementary school. It is falling apart! The rooms are small and antiquated. There is little educational technology and poor science lab facilities. In most clasrooms, we squeeze into rooms meant for half the number of students. We need a modern school that will better serve the students, parents and teachers of our community.

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Allan Fluharty
Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago, IL

I feel that more teachers and paraeducators should be hired to provide students with the extra help that they need. If time is not allowed in the school day--there should be funds for teachers to teach remedial classes after school hours. We have so many students that need constant help with the basics of education, especially math and reading.

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Carmella Johnson
Geismar, LA

Our teachers are in desperate need of raises and planning time. Due to the cut backs, we have had to sacrifice teachers, planning time, and raises. Many of our teachers are barely surviving on the small salary we earn. Educators are losing their homes and finding other means in order to provide for their families. Technology is a major issue throughout our school. We are administrating the FCAT math and End of Course math exams through computer based technology; however, there are not enough computers to test all of our math students simultaneously. Therefore, we are wasting precious instructional days due to a lack of and poor technology.

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Karlyn Chism
SRPE
Milton, FL

I absolutely feel that all educators need to return to their schools. There have too many lay offs, class sizes are too large, and the students' needs are not being met. I am a school social worker and last year, the social workers positions were in serious jeopardy. Although the lay offs did not occur, it was a scary thought on a personal level, as well as for the needs of the students. Without social workers, many of the students' social, emotional, and behavioral needs would not be met. We need everyone to work to maximize our students success so that they can have a productive future.

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Diane Smith
Valley Central Teacher's Association
Montgomery, NY

Middle class wages, health care, and retirement for teachers and ALL STAFF. Textbooks and materials for each student. Developmentally appropriate class-sizes. Equity in facilities. Time for teachers to collaborate to advance the learning of each student as an individual. Professional growth for Response to Intervention models for both academics and behavior. Time for whole school development of constructive school climate. Support for diverse needs (more time in school for students who need it; specialists). Free breakfast for parents. WHOLESOME FOOD with no empty calories, no soda, no junk in the school meal programs. Go UNION!

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Shelley Jensen
Shelley Jensen
Eugene, OR

Money should be invested in the infrastructure needed to allow teachers to use instructional technology with their students. Computers, presentation boards, internet band-with, etc. Money should also be invested in training teachers, especially younger career teachers (5-10 years of service) on how to use instructional technology to improve student learning. This kind of investment will preserve and possibly expand jobs in the manufacturing and sales fields associated with the technology, create jobs for teacher trainers, and improve our children's educational outcomes in the long run.

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David St John
1600
Chicago, IL

Don't pass or support the Act. Education is a local issue. Leave teaching to the State and local counties/cities. Reduce the debt so we grow the economy and that will enable us to hire more teachers. If anything, get rid of the Dept of Education.

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Nicole Oditt
Fairfax County Federation of Teachers
Falls Church, VA

Our local elementary schools are old, inefficient, and crowded. Funds to build new schools would provide employment for local contractors and provide space for our youngsters to get an adequate education.

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Dervin Garrison
QFT
Quincy, IL

NOTHING will change in this country - education policy, environmental degradation, constant war, destruction of the middle class, corporate elite, etc. - if we keep electing the same people from the same two (one?) parties. Democrats and Republicans are both bought and paid for by corporations and their media outlets. Vote Green or Independent, Working Families, Socialist, Libertarian - ANYONE besides the two corrupt wings of the one Corporate Oligarchy. Now if only we can get the AFT and corporate media to even recognize that there are other parties in this country and give EQUAL time and attention! Viva the 99%.

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Anthony Adamczyk
SVFT
Manchester, CT

I'm against the American Jobs Act. It's wrong for America and won't ultimately save teaching jobs! Only growing the economy will save teacher's jobs. The AJA will NOT grow the economy and will add to the already oppressive debt. Your positions on political issues should be balanced with the good of the country NOT blindly biased toward the constituency of our Union. Further, the will of the members should be followed. Did you poll the membership?

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William Wallace
Indian River County, FL
Sebastian, FL

I would love to see the money spent on programs mandated by the state legistature; such as Positive Behavior Support for all schools, because most of those programs were funded by grants, and since it is now a MANDATE for all schools in the state of Louisiana to have it in placed at their respective schools, monies should be given to all School Districts to fund the program. They want all programs to be mandated, but refuse to give funding for those programs. These programs are designed to promote growth and awareness, and all students can benefit from these program. President Obama program would strengthen such programs.

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Carolyn Granderson
United Teachers of New Orleans
Harvey, LA

This legislation needs to be passed.Many people are complaining about jobs.This bill will help many people achieve some kind of financial stability.This bill deals with some of those complaints.Please pass this bill.

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Reggie Smith
AFT St.Louis
St.Louis, MO

Dear President Obama, and Colleagues, The plan put forth by President Obama is honest, and worthy of public support. Our children deserve the best in education. Our teachers wear many hats beyond that of educator, setting the foundation of our nation. In order for Texas communities to see any jobs preserved, rescued or created, Rick Perry and his Republican legislature need to be recalled!

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Kathleen Perry
SBISDAFT
Houston, TX

Years ago I worked as an unemployment Representative for the state of Illinois. We had a division as part of the office to help individuals back to work. If you want citizens to work and pay taxes help them have a network of jobs offered to them. Help them back to work. Put tariffs on companies that make our American citizens unemployed.

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Toni Wister
Orland Park, IL

Put teachers back in the classroom and decrease the class size. Teachers are the professionals. Stop listening to people who think they can do a teachers job. Try going in a classroom for a day and see how hard teachers work - at school and the hours put in at home. Despite what goes on in the classroom, the reinforcement has to be done at home. Start holding parents responsible for their child's education instead of blaming everything that goes wrong on the teacher. Stop enabling parents / guardians.

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Janice Smith
PFT
Philadelphia, PA

Schools need to implement more vocational programs where students during their last two years of school, could graduate with a certification in a vocational area such as: plumbing, elec., welding, etc.

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Caryn Calhoun
AFT-Lufkin
Lufkin, TX

Give tax break incentives to companies that hire or re-hire additional personnel if the company volunteers to work in or with a school. In other words a company would "adopt" a school and work with the school/district to provide what that school needs for a mutually agreed upon timeframe of at least one school year.

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Marie Furey
Phila.School District - PFT
Folsom, PA

Two librarian positions were cut in our district this year. I am currently running 2 libraries and teaching 40 classes a week with a para-professional (no certification) teaching 18 classes and checking out books to 20 classes a week. I'd like to see full-time certified librarians put back on the 3 campuses that currently do not have one. Two campuses now have a certified teacher and a para-professional running the other 2 libraries that lost 2 certified librarians (1 of which was cut, the other left for another district). We are an exemplary district. I feel we owe it to the children to have exemplary libraries.

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Susan Brisbay
Friendswood, TX

I think we need to put the money back into education and jobs in education. If we don't fix what we have lost in education then people are going to think that it's ok to take more money away from an area that helps our nation create the American Dream. It is one of the things America is known for. Are we going to take a good education away? We are already behind other countries in education and other areas. Do we want to be a stupid nation? Our students are our future generation and our future leaders. Teachers help turn students into productive citizens and entrepreneurs that help our economy. Sometimes we need to spend money to make more

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Sandra Taylor
CCAFT
Corpus Christi, TX

Many NYC schools need updated electrical systems to accommodate air conditioning as well as updated technology in the classrooms.

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Judy :eof
UFT
Beechhurst, NY

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