The House has passed the $26 billion jobs bill, including $10 billion for education. “It’s unclear whether the country ever really faced hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs,” reports NPR’s Larry Abramson in a surprisingly skeptical report.
ABRAMSON: Many of the districts we reached said they avoided or drastically reduced job cuts through wage freezes or other measures. Marguerite Roza of the University of Washington says, the total would have been moderate, and included many non-teaching jobs.
Dr. MARGUERITE ROZA (College of Education, University of Washington): Likely somewhere under 100,000 in terms of total education jobs. We know from the previous year the system lost about 80,000 jobs, which still puts it, you know, in the neighborhood of one percent.
ABRAMSON: And, Roza says, you have to remember, we are coming off of a boom in teacher hiring, so teacher-student staffing is still pretty strong.
NPR quotes Cato’s Neal McCluskey saying “we’ve increased employment at huge rates relative to enrollment and seen no increase in achievement.”
The U.S. Department of Education says the new money can be used to reverse wage freezes or cuts teachers accepted to avoid layoffs. That won’t save jobs but it will make teachers happy.
It’s a manufactured crisis, says Jeanne Allen of Center for Education Reform.
States will get money based on the number of children in public school. States that haven’t cut teachers are trying to figure out how to spend the money.