No Malthusian crash for the teacher population
Doomsday projections aside, NCTQ found in a recent survey that layoffs in large urban districts were modest: Over the past two years, only 2.5 percent (on average) of the teaching staff at the seventy-five large urban districts they surveyed were let go. Half of the participating districts saw no forced layoffs at all. (Many districts decreased staff size simply through teacher attrition.) This falls in stark contrast to the rhetoric of a “new normal” pushed out from the White House: Remember its forewarnings of 280,000 teacher layoffs this year alone? The story of how cities avoided layoffs is interesting: A large percentage cut their central-office workforce. Good. But more districts cut class time or school days than reduced workers’ benefits. In fact, only 7 percent of surveyed districts in 2011-12 dared mess with teacher benefits. These data could bolster the case of reformers like Scott Walker who argue that state policy should tackle runaway growth in benefits because school boards and administrators will not. Clearly only a tiny minority of districts were willing to touch these areas of their budget. So lay off the predictions, Nostr-Obama.
“Teacher layoffs: Did the sky fall or not?,” by Staff, National Council on Teacher Quality, November 2, 2011.
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