First posted at Working America's Blog
A big round of teacher layoffs is coming. From the NY Times:
School districts around the country, forced to resort to drastic money-saving measures, are warning hundreds of thousands of teachers that their jobs may be eliminated in June.
The districts have no choice, they say, because their usual sources of revenue — state money and local property taxes — have been hit hard by the recession. In addition, federal stimulus money earmarked for education has been mostly used up this year.
As a result, the 2010-11 school term is shaping up as one of the most austere in the last half century. In addition to teacher layoffs, districts are planning to close schools, cut programs, enlarge classes and shorten the school day, week or year to save money.
Tolleson Union High School District is laying off 207 employees, including 34 classroom teachers, to balance a budget hit by state funding cuts, climbing expenses and the March failure of a crucial budget override election.
That's nearly 19 percent of the district's workforce.
Dozens of Cedar Rapids School employees learned on Friday they will no longer be with the district.
The school board approved cutting 60 positions earlier this week, including 23 teachers.
The Cleveland school board appears ready to lay off more than 650 teachers union members.
The cash-strapped Flint school district will lay off 261 teachers at the end of the year.
The Flint Community Schools Board of Education approved the layoffs Wednesday night.
These cuts are also affecting state colleges and universities. In New Jersey:
Facing record deficits, Gov. Chris Christie has proposed cutting $173 million in state aid to universities, a nearly 8 percent reduction. New budget language released last week also included a surprise cap on tuition proposals, further squeezing the bottom lines at state colleges and universities.
The first battle will take place Wednesday afternoon in Trenton, during an Assembly budget hearing on the governor’s proposals. The stakes are high for the universities, which have endured cuts in state aid for seven of the past 10 years, according to union officials.
"Immediate effects include larger class sizes, fewer faculty hires, fewer class offerings, cutbacks in services and hours, and cutbacks in technology purchases and facilities renovations," the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities said.
As universities across the nation face budget shortcuts, Georgia is trying to meet the demands of a $385 million budget cut from the state’s higher education budget.
Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, responsible for the 35 public colleges and universities in Georgia, says that in order to meet this budget cut, the colleges and universities would have to increase tuition by 77 percent. Chancellor Davis, along with other university presidents in the state of Georgia, is attempting to discuss specific budget cuts, rather than have the state House-Senate joint budget committee make budget cuts wherever they choose.
A survey of community college presidents finds that as unemployment rises, so does the enrollment at community colleges. At the same time, these schools are facing significant budget cuts.
It's all grim news on the education front. That's why the Local Jobs for America Act is so important.