Since the recession began, the specter of massive teacher layoffs has been hanging over the nation’s schools. The feds have repeatedly come to the rescue–even when some parts of the country didn’t seem to be particularly struggling–providing funds first in the form of stimulus dollars, followed by last year’s EduJobs.
So far this year there appears to be little likelihood of a comparable rescue package. The president’s job bill offers the only hope, but we all know how far that one isn’t going. The White House has been making the case nonetheless, supplying sobering evidence of a decline in education jobs and that as many as 280,000 “educator jobs” are at risk this school year.
Not discounting this evidence, we’ve been struck by the lack of reports on layoffs in newspapers this fall. Last spring, they were all reporting about school districts handing out pink slips by the thousands, but there’s been little follow up on teachers converting from pink-slip status to no-job-at-all status.