Sunday, February 05, 2012
The Dark Underside Of The U.S. Jobs Report & The Future Of The National And The New York City Teaching Profession.
On Friday, there was a surprising and very encouraging economic jobs report that appears to show that the United States economy was starting the upward part of the economic "U curve". The stock market rose to three year highs and the fears of the "double dip recession" appears to be over. However, most of the increased jobs came from three lower wages areas. Health care, retail, and hospitality & leisure. What still remained flat was the middle class professions such as technology, teaching, and financial services. Only professional positions to show gains were accounting and engineering. The public sector work force continued to decline with a reduction of 14,000 jobs countrywide. This increases the total public employment job loss to 276,000 since last year, excluding education and the postal service.
The latest numbers for eduction showed a loss of 24,400 teaching positions nationwide this school year and since hiring and layoffs occur during the summer, no real change is anticipated until the summer of 2012. Many Long Island School Districts expect additional layoffs for the 2012-13 school year and that assumes the State does not renege on anticipated increases in school aid, something the State has done over the years. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg's new budget spares teacher layoffs for the 2012-13 school year. However, he will not replace teachers who will leave the system at year end. Since the projected "attrition rate" is usually 2,500 and could be even higher as many teachers are refused tenure and leave the City schools in frustration. In the Mayor's goal to reduce the number of teachers and increase class sizes, he has already achieved a reduction of 8,000 teachers in the last three years and with at least another 2,500 teachers leaving the system and not replaced, look for that number to approach or even exceed 11,000 or 14% of the 2008 teaching force while the NYC student population continues to increase.
Throughout the nation teaching positions are being eliminated as education is being squeezed with all public employment. Even in a recession proof State like Texas almost every school district experience significant teacher layoffs with 10,000 teaching positions gone this school. year and last due to "layoffs and attrition". Overall, over the last three years nationwide 280,000 education jobs have been eliminated and more are expected for the next school year.
Back to New York City, look for the number of teachers to be further reduced due to "attrition" until Bloomberg is out of office in January of 2014 or 697 days from now. That means one more year of the Mayor increasing class sizes before the nightmare is over in his "children last" policy.