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Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter

August 6, 2010

This Week from Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Congresswoman McCollum Will Return to Washington to Prevent Teacher Layoffs
In a move to prevent as many as 140,000 public school teachers across the country from being laid-off, Congresswoman McCollum will return to Washington next week to vote on critical legislation aimed at providing fiscal relief to states facing budget crises, including funding to keep teachers in the classroom. The chair of the White House Council on Economic Advisors, Christina Romer, has stated that "...the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers are at stake." This is largely because unemployment rates have stressed state and local budgets, forcing many school districts to make deep budget cuts. The legislation is $26 billion ($10 billion for public education and $16 million to states for Medicaid payments) and is fully paid for by reduction in other government programs.

Congresswoman McCollum believes teachers need to be in the classroom, educating our children and keeping our communities strong, not in the unemployment line. If this critical bill passes it will save an estimated 140,000 teaching jobs nationwide - including 2,800 teaching jobs across Minnesota and 441 teachers in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District. Additionally, local education agencies in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District will receive nearly $30 million in funding.

K-12 Public Education Focus of Community Policy Forum
Congresswoman McCollum was joined today by three Minnesota state legislators and local education officials in a community policy forum to examine the challenges facing Minnesota school districts. Congresswoman McCollum also asked for input regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Minnesota's ongoing fiscal crisis has put many essential state programs at risk of cutbacks, including public education. Classroom size and potential teacher layoffs are just a few of the challenges that education officials are facing today.

Health Care Roundtable Highlights Benefits of New Health Care Law
Earlier this week, Congresswoman McCollum and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region V Director Cristal Thomas met with leaders from local health clinics to discuss the new health care law and its implementation. New health care reform will allocate more funding to over 20 community health centers in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District so that thousands of new patients will get the health care they deserve.

Congresswoman McCollum and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Tout "America's Great Outdoors" Initiative in Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and other federal and local government officials held a press conference to emphasize the benefits of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The event also showcased a model program that brings thousands of urban youth to experience the Mississippi River by canoe.

President Obama announced the creation of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. America's Great Outdoors aims to support a 21st century conservation agenda that builds on successes in communities across the country. The initiative will hopefully start a national dialogue about conservation that supports the efforts of private citizens and local communities.