Teacher hiring is about to fall off that fiscal cliff districts were warned about, write Katherine Silberstein and Marguerite Roza of Georgetown's Edunomics Lab on The 74.
Districts have been on a spree, hiring teachers and other staff with federal pandemic relief funds, they write. Staffing rose while enrollment fell. The funding will be gone by fall 2024. With a few exceptions, such as Texas and Florida, enrollment in traditional public schools hasn't rebounded.
Some districts are pulling down their “help wanted” signs already, write Silberstein and Roza. "Portland and Auburn, Maine issued a hiring freeze this spring. Hartford, San Francisco, and Baltimore County are eliminating unfilled positions. Fort Worth and Seattle are already doing layoffs."
Math, science and special education teachers, always in short supply, will find plenty of job opportunities, they predict. Would-be teachers in low-demand specialties may have a tougher time finding jobs as school districts "right-size" payrolls to math enrollment declines.
The good news is that districts will be able to be pickier about new hires, writes Fordham's Michael Petrilli. The bad news is that layoffs will be determined by seniority, not teacher effectiveness.
During the Great Recession, the Obama administration pumped $100 billion into U.S. schools over two years, he writes. Republicans won the midterms in 2010. The money ran out. School districts "laid off the youngest teachers first, cut tutoring and other 'extras,' and eliminated teacher coaches and the like." Student achievement went down writes Kirabo Jackson in The Costs of Cutting School Spending: Lessons from the Great Recession.