In Alert: President Signs Bill to Save Teaching Jobs for Now I said:
Jim Abrams of AP is reporting in the Seattle Times that President Obama has just signed legislation which reportedly will save the jobs of 300,000 teachers. In Obama Signs Emergency Bill to Halt Teacher Layoffs Abrams reports….
An economy which is flat or stagnant does not produce jobs. No jobs, no revenue. Well, you get the picture. See, Poor State Economies May Equal Teacher Layoffs and Alert: 2010 -2011 Seattle School District Budget Process Thank you credit crunch weasels and cash sluts.
As far as I know ignorance has never solved any problems. Now, we come to the read it and weep segment. WaMu is but one example of the mischief caused by the “masters of the universe” philosophy. The Scotsman has a great article on Masters of the Universe
Most people are thankful that education has been spared disaster for one more year, but this is just a finger in the dike and there is a lot of pressure behind the dike. States have tough decisions and many unpleasant options. So far, local “leaders” want to bail and escape to a job outside the locality because the process of local politics at this juncture is just too ugly.
It appears that some school districts are being cautious about spending the stimulus $$$$$.
Motoko Rich is reporting in the New York Times, article Given Money For Rehiring, Schools Wait and See that school districts are holding the cash in reserve, for now.
As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. 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….
A $26 billion federal aid package, signed by President Obama on Aug. 10, allocates $10 billion for school districts to retain or rehire teachers, counselors, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and others — with the remainder of the money directed toward health care for the poor, emergency personnel and other state purposes.
The education measure requires states to distribute the money for the current school year, but allows school districts to spend it as late as September 2012. It also allows schools to roll back furlough days. The education department estimates it could salvage about 160,000 jobs….
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.
“We’re a little wary about hiring people if we only have money for a year, but we know that’s the intent of this bill,” said Jeff Weiler, chief financial officer for Clark County schools.
In Texas, Republican Gov. Rick Perry so far has rejected the new federal education dollars. Should he relent, Houston’s superintendent, Terry B. Grier, proposes to use $40 million to $70 million of it to extend the school day and year, and to hire tutors. He does not plan to rehire 414 people — including quite a few certified teachers — laid off from the central office staff.
“We can’t treat this money as if it’s a supplement to a jobs bill,” Mr. Grier said. “I want to put people to work to help children.”
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. [Emphasis Added]
Problem is the political landscape is so contentious and filled with so much posturing that real long range planning is impossible as “leaders” somersault from crisis to crisis. There are many programs and pork projects that were barely sustainable in the past and that are totally unsustainable now. Educating children and supporting families is essential to making this society and culture sustainable. Until states get their budgets on firmer ground and the federal government begins to focus on cultivating the economic conditions that promote innovation and job creation, this society is facing the potential of losing a generation of children to inadequate education and opportunities. This blogger sees a link between the quality of education available to all and the economic and job health of the economy, Folks, that guy Geithner is just a credit crunch weasel in disguise.
Alert: 6 School Districts Put Levies On the Ballot, Seattle Next?
It’s About Having a Good School in Every Neighborhood, Stupid
Poor State Economies May Equal Teacher Layoffs
Update: Poor State Economies May Equal Teacher Layoffs
Stimulus Money is Running Out, Now What?
Update: Stimulus Money is Running Out, Now What?
Big school districts are acting like big banks and there are few entities willing to put people back to work.
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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