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Missouri educators urge Congress to pass $10 billion in aid

By Matt Sepic, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Education officials in Missouri are urging Congress to approve $10 billion in aid for teachers.

Districts across the state are dealing with major budget problems, and with federal stimulus money already spent, many school systems are considering teacher layoffs.

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said the extra federal money could save 3,200 teaching jobs in Missouri. She spoke alongside Obama Administration officials on a media conference call Thursday.

"I've been in education 34 years, and I've never seen it like this," said Nicastro. "I think that schools and school districts all over Missouri and all over the country are having to make decisions that they've never had to make before."

President Obama wants Congress to pass the aid for teachers, but the current measure would also scale back some of Obama's key education initiatives including Race to the Top and charter school expansion.

The president has threatened to veto the measure.

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