Florida’s public schools received $554 million to help the schools’ budgets and secure jobs in the education field. The grant was part of a state aid bill that President Barack Obama signed last month.
To get the grant, the state had to pledge that the money would be used only to save jobs, not to pay off debts.
“What’s unique about this is that it is specific to faculty,” said Steve Thompson, Ph.D., executive director of marketing communications at the Fischler School of Education and Human Services. “These are very difficult economic times. The state never had to deal with such a large scale lay-off of teachers. Teaching was always viewed as a recession-proof profession.”
The grant will expire at the end of the school year and those teachers who were hired as a result of the funding from the grant may be fired.
Nichole Evans, freshman biology major and Florida public school graduate, said, “If it’s just for one year, then it won’t help anything. It’s not going to make a big difference.”
The grant has been criticized as a bailout that will not help the economy.
Valentina Bustamante, sophomore athletic training major, said, “I think it’s good that it helps [teachers], but the economy is so bad and people are cutting jobs everywhere. This is not going to help.”
“I think investing in education always helps the economy. It may not be immediate, but it definitely helps for people to have professional skills,” he said.