The U.S. House has passed H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act to send $10 billion in grants to state and local governments to prevent teacher layoffs this fall and another $16.1 billion in aid to states to cover the costs of their Medicaid programs.
According to Congressman John Spratt, chair of the House Budget Committee, about $300 million will go to South Carolina alone.
“The sooner this bill becomes law, the sooner school districts can rehire teachers and stop planned layoffs,” Spratt says. “South Carolina is estimated to receive nearly $144 million for K-12 education, which translates into 2,600 teachers.”
South Carolina is to get between $130 million and $150 million in assistance for Medicaid. The bill provides assistance for an additional six months–through June 30, 2011–to states with high Medicaid needs.
Bill proponents say that Medicaid funds will save 158,000 jobs, including those of police officers and firefighters.
H.R. 1586 passed the House by a vote of 247-161 and now goes to the president for his signature.