Only 2.5% of teachers were laid off

Despite predictions of massive teacher lay-offs, only 2.5 percent of teachers were laid off in 74 urban districts that responded to a National Council on Teacher Quality survey.  Three California districts — Long Beach, Sacramento and San Diego — laid off 20 percent of teachers. Excluding these outliers, 1.5 percent of teachers lost their jobs for financial reasons. About half of the districts reported no layoffs.

Last spring, districts projected laying off 160,000 teachers, about 5 percent of the total. More than 200,000 “educator” jobs have disappeared, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Districts report not replacing some teachers who retired or resigned and laying off central-office employees. Aides and other support staffers lost their jobs in New York City.

Few districts avoided teacher layoffs by reducing the school year or cutting teacher benefits, the survey found.

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  1. 20 percent in three districts is not “only” (as in article title), as for me. The number is pretty high!

  2. Many school districts in Texas offered early retirement packages, which thousands of teachers accepted. I noticed the number of retirees wasn’t mentioned.

    My school lost its art teacher, and we were the only one of five elementary schools that had an art program.

    • I’m willing to pass up the art teacher. Regular teachers should be able to incorporate art/architecture history and appreciation into history and kids are already spending too much time on arty projects. Maybe that makes me a cultural philistine, but so be it.

      • You’re a cultural philistine 🙂 But seriously, will I get training in art instruction or the arts?

        My school also lost its computer lab instructor and a reading intervention specialist. I can handle teaching the technology but when will I be given training in reading intervention?

        • Somehow, my ES teachers managed art/architecture, with books, film strips and pictures (plus music appreciation, with records) and they were either Normal School grads (1 yr post HS) or had a year or two of college. Considering the resources on DVDs and the internet (and books are still good!), I can’t see why not. There was a good art history series on TV, years ago, which I assume is available on DVD – by Sister Wendy, I think. There are also good resources at The Learning Company. BTW, none of the schools my kids attended had the art teacher doing anything with art history or the music teacher doing anything with music appreciation and those classes were not offered in HS; those teachers were interested only in performance, so Mom and Dad had to teach the cultural literacy at home.

          Reading intervention, OTOH is important and the loss of a good specialist is regrettable. Technology depends on level; I don’t think ES kids need much of it.

  3. more telling would be
    a. the numbers net of new hires
    b. underlying changes in student enrollment