NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Given Money, Schools Wait On Rehiring Teachers

August 19, 2010

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, school districts argue that big deficits are looming for the next academic year and that they need to preserve funds to prevent future layoffs, says the New York Times.  

In Los Angeles: 

  • They are projecting a $280 million budget shortfall next year that could threaten more jobs.
  • 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.  

In New York City: 

  • Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg committed to no teacher layoffs this year in exchange for not offering raises.
  • A spokeswoman said the city's budget had already taken the federal aid into account.  

In New Jersey: 

  • About 3,000 teachers were let go in May.
  • Gov. Chris Christie's administration worries that the federal aid will only forestall difficult decisions later, and it is unclear how much will be spent immediately.  

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.
  • Grier does not plan to rehire 414 people -- including quite a few certified teachers -- laid off from the central office staff.  

Source: Motoko Rich, "Given Money, Schools Wait on Rehiring Teachers," New York Times, August 17, 2010. 

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