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In a surprise move, the U.S. Senate did something good Wednesday—it moved to prevent more than 100,000 teachers from being laid off this fall and restored funds for President Obama’s signature Race to the Top education program.

The House, led by retiring Rep. David Obey, chose the wrong way to pay for the $10 billion needed to prevent the teacher layoffs. It cut $800 billion from the president’s prize program, which incentivizes accountability for performance and charter schools. Obama reacted firmly, threatening to veto a Democratic bill for the first time since he became president.

Meanwhile, Republicans in both chambers were happy to let all those teachers lose their jobs. The results would have been devastating not just for schools but for the country. Just what we need when we’re trying to compete with China and India—four-day school weeks and teachers with 35 kids in a class.

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