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Gerry Clinchy
08-18-2010, 07:23 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/business/economy/18teachers.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
NY Times
Given Money, Schools Wait on Rehiring Teachers


But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

With the economic outlook weakening, they argue that big deficits are looming for the next academic year and that they need to preserve the funds to prevent future layoffs. Los Angeles, for example, is projecting a $280 million budget shortfall next year that could threaten more jobs.

“You’ve got this herculean task to deal with next year’s deficit,” said Lydia L. Ramos, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest after New York City.

“So if there’s a way that you can lessen the blow for next year,” she said, “we feel like it would be responsible to try to do that.”

The district laid off 682 teachers and counselors and about 2,000 support workers this spring and was not sure it would be able to hire any of them back with the stimulus money. The district says it could be forced to cut 4,500 more people next year.


The gist seems to be that these school districts are discovering that "temporary" $ is not going to solve the problem.

In NJ

“It’s a real double-edged sword,” said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the governor. “This money will not be there next year, and we’re not going to get back up to the funding that they had previously been used to.”


Though preserving jobs will be good for the economy, it will disappoint out-of-work teachers and parents who have been expecting a surge in rehiring. Many districts, like Kansas City, Kan., face the likelihood of midyear cuts, and administrators will count themselves lucky to save jobs. In the nation’s fifth-largest district in Clark County in Las Vegas, administrators are eager to hire some teachers, though they wonder what they will do when the federal money runs out.

I am curious, and it has not been discussed anywhere, whether the # of students has increased, decreased or remained the same during the periods when the budgets have escalated at school districts.

While many school districts (like those in my own area) encompass both the city population and suburban population, this is not true in all cities. It is possible that in certain areas student populations have decreased and more $ is being used to serve fewer students?

Some of it appears to be poor planning/timing ... this $ needed to be committed sooner in order for schools to set up their class schedules.


Still other obstacles loom for districts, not the least of which is timing. School has resumed in many districts in struggling states, including Arizona, California and Illinois. Assigning new teachers and juggling classrooms could disrupt students. In California, the budget picture is further clouded by the state’s failure to pass its own budget for the coming year.

Also, WRT overall govt employment

State and local governments have let go 102,000 more employees than they have added in the last three months, and economists are concerned that with revenue so depressed, school payrolls could shrink more in coming months.

Local govt relied heavily on the housing bubble and "hot" economy. As private sector jobs disappeared, and income from developers and local taxes from real estate transfer decreased (along with local income tax decreases due to job losses), the govt jobs also had to be cut


State and local governments have let go 102,000 more employees than they have added in the last three months, and economists are concerned that with revenue so depressed, school payrolls could shrink more in coming months.