Bennet: Senate Has A Chance to Protect Teacher Jobs, Colorado's Most Vulnerable

Urges Senate to Approve Bill to Protect Teacher Jobs, Access to Medicaid Services

Washington, DCMichael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement urging the Senate to approve legislation that will provide emergency funding to prevent widespread layoffs of teachers and protect access to Medicaid services for Colorado’s kids and vulnerable populations:

“The Senate has a chance tonight to pass a bill that will keep teachers in the classroom and prevent Coloradans from losing access to the health care they need,” said Bennet.  “I know many plan to use this as yet another opportunity to score cheap political points on the backs of our kids, our teachers and Coloradans who’ve fallen on hard times in the most savage economy since the Great Depression.  The Senate needs to resist the temptation to play political games with people’s lives and livelihoods and do the right thing for Colorado and the country.”

If the Medicaid FMAP extension does not pass, states will be forced to layoff tens of thousands more teachers and other public employees, cut education funding more, and further reduce payments to health care providers and other private firms.  More than 900,000 public and private sector jobs could be lost.

Colorado alone would lose between $212 Million and $245 Million if the FMAP extension does not pass.  Likely cuts include eliminating state aid for full-day kindergarten for 35,000 children, eliminating preschool aid for 21,000 children, and increasing overcrowding in juvenile detention facilities, according the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Additionally, the education jobs funding could prevent the loss of over 2,000 teacher jobs in Colorado alone.