New stimulus jobs bill heads for quick approval in Sacramento

An Assembly panel agreed without dissent Wednesday to move forward a bill appropriating $1.2 billion in new federal stimulus money to local educational agencies.

Expectations are that SB 847 will move to the floor of the lower house perhaps as soon as today and could be to the governor by the end of the week.

The message to broadcast to districts is that help is coming and it is coming relatively soon," said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, chair of the education committee, which approved the measure Wednesday.

The funds, approved by Congress earlier this month, are intended to protect education jobs including teachers, nurses, counselors, and classified employees both this year and next, committee members said.

The funds are projected to save more than 16,000 jobs in California.

The bill is being taken up as urgency legislation- which means it would become law immediately with the governor's signature and requires a two-thirds support of both houses.

The vote Wednesday at the Assembly Education Committee came without dissent and on a bipartisan basis.

According to an analysis of the bill by legislative staff, SB 847 would appropriate $1,201,534,585 from the Federal Trust Fund to the California Department of Education and calls for all but $1.5 million of that money to be shared among the state's LEAs. The $1.5 million would be used by the CDE for administrative purposes.