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VP Biden visits Pasco school to tout jobs plan | News

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VP Biden visits Pasco school to tout jobs plan

Land O Lakes, Florida --  Vice President Joe Biden will be in Pasco County today to tout President Obama's American Jobs Act in an effort to push Congress to pass the plan.

Oakstead Elementary School will play host to the VP who is expected to talk about the impact of teacher layoffs on our childrens education.

Pasco County Schools was forced to slash $54 million from its budget for this school year, resulting in the elimination of 513 jobs.  When you account attrition, about 300 people lost their jobs, including eight teachers at Oakstead Elementary.

"We welcome the opportunity to shin the light on the fact that we've had a very difficult time economically over the last few years and also the fact we have capital needs in our district," said Pasco County Schools spokeswoman, Summer Romagnoli.

Obama's plan proposes to invest $35 billion to prevent the layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers and hire tens of thousands more teachers.  Part of the money would also be used to retain and hire first responders and emergency personnel.

Another $25 billion is proposed to modernize 35,000 schools across the country.  This includes upgrading science labs; ensuring schools are internet ready and renovating older facilities.

Click:  Fact Sheet:  The American Jobs Act

Romagnoli says $32 million is in the plan for Pasco County schools.

She says the district is facing a 56% decline in funding for capital projects.

Oakstead Elementary was built six years ago for 700 students, but holds 1,100 students.  As a result of the overcrowding, the school is using 22 portable classrooms.

"Class size has definitely increases this year and you can definitely feel the difference there," said Oakstead Elementary's principal, Tammy Kimpland.

School staff and students spent the day Monday preparing for the VP's visit by rescheduling field trips to make sure every student has the chance to experience this historic visit.  Teachers also took the opportunity to make the visit a teachable moment by teaching the kids about how government works, the role of the President and Vice President and how a bill becomes a law.

The visit is scheduled to take place at 12:30pm.  10 News will have a crew at the school.

Meanwhile, President Obama will be in Dallas, Texas today to promote his $447 billion jobs plan. 

He sent it to Congress on September 8th, but has yet to see it back.




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