Last week, the Senate finally passed the $26 billion package to aid states that are still reeling from the effects of the recession. The legislation provides $10 billion to retain teachers who might otherwise lose jobs to cutbacks, and an additional $16 billion to help states with rising health care costs. The bill was quickly passed by the House and signed by President Obama.
Of that amount, North Carolina received about $300 million to save teachers' jobs. North Carolina leaders are now figuring out when and how to use the money. Obviously, one possibility would be to use some of the funds to re-hire teachers and teaching assistants who were recently laid off due to budget cuts. Also, some amount may be saved till next year, when the state's deficit will reach its highest level.