On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a 26-billion-dollar bill in order to extend support to states, to prevent teacher layoffs and make their Medicaid payments. This happened within hours after the House of Representatives passed it. The House, with a count of 247 to 161, in afternoon gave a green light to the bill that has been designed to ease the tight state budget, in between a decline in tax revenues and worst recession since 1930s. Last week, the Senate voted 61 to 39 to approve the measure.
The US president made a last-minute pitch for the bill hours before the House took the final vote. The bill includes US$10 billion allocated to school districts to help states avoid layoffs of teachers. The White House estimated that would save about 160,000 teachers' jobs. In the year ended June 30, more than 85,000 local-government education employees lost their jobs. There is also an additional $16 billion allocated in the bill to help states make their Medicaid payments.